Beaverton Democrat seeks third term in 1st District seat

Congresswoman Suzanne BonamiciU.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici says recent successes have bolstered her desire to seek a third full term in the 1st District congressional seat that covers northwest Oregon.

Among those successes are changes in federal aid to education, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, that Congress cleared late last year.

Bonamici, a Democrat from Beaverton, was on the House-Senate negotiating committee that shaped the final version, and was among those at the White House when President Barack Obama signed the bill on Dec. 10.

“It takes time and patience to build momentum in D.C.,” Bonamici said in a statement announcing her candidacy. “I’m encouraged by recent successes, and I’m ready to keep working to support women, seniors, and working families; rebuild the economy; strengthen K-12 education and make higher education more affordable; and curb climate change.”

Bonamici sits on the House Education and Workforce Committee, where she won approval of changes to integrate arts education into science, technology, engineering and math instruction. She is a co-founder of the STEAM Caucus.

Another change will lessen the stakes for states and school districts in testing under the previous 2002 education law, known as No Child Left Behind. The new law still requires testing of students in elementary and high schools.

Federal aid to public schools — particularly to students from low-income families — dates back to 1965.

Bonamici also sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and is the top Democrat on its subcommittee on the environment.

Bonamici, now 61, was a lawyer and state senator when, in a 2012 special election, she won the District 1 seat vacated by the forced resignation of Democrat David Wu.

District 1 covers Washington, Clatsop, Columbia and Yamhill counties, and a part of Multnomah County west of the Willamette River. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, 39 percent to 28 percent, in January totals compiled by the Oregon secretary of state. Voters not affiliated with a party amount to about 26 percent.

Bonamici has won two full terms since, most recently in 2014, when she won 57 percent of the votes cast in a four-way race.

Her husband is Michael Simon, a U.S. District Court judge in Portland. They have two grown children.

Two others making their first bids for public office have also filed for the seat.

Shabba Woodley of Beaverton, a 25-year-old videographer, also has filed in the May 17 Democratic primary. Brian Heinrich of Dundee has filed as a Republican. He is a sales representative for DSU Peterbuilt & GMC, and a sales associate for The Disney Store.

Bonamici said she will work toward renewal of the Older Americans Act, originally passed in 1965, that authorizes federal spending on such programs as senior nutrition and prevention of elder abuse.

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