Fai defeats Hindley for Washington County commissioner
Nafisa Fai defeated Jeff Hindley in unofficial results for the Washington County Commissioner in District 1 on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Fai had 58.2% of the vote compared to 41.2% for Hindley in the most recent count.
"I want to say thank you so much to the voters of District 1 for giving me this opportunity to represent our community," said Fai. "Together, we can have tremendous impact on the lives of our residents."
She added, "I will never stop working on behalf of the people, elevating the voices of those in our community that have not been heard, and shaping the future of our county to be vibrant, prosperous, and inclusive."
Fai says running for office was one of the most challenging things she has ever done, but "then again, making history is never easy."
She also thanked Hindley for "running an admirable clean campaign."
"This is my first time running for office. ... I couldn't have asked for a better opponent," said Fai, calling Hindley "a man of integrity and a good heart."
As for how she won, Fai said she worked hard to turn out the vote.
"We phone banked, (and) we got the endorsements that we needed to fundraise," said Fai. "We made over 29,000 phone calls to the voters. ... More importantly, I was running a community-mobilizing campaign."
Fai will replace Dick Schouten, who has occupied the seat on the five-member board for 20 years. Schouten ran unsuccessfully for an open seat in the Oregon Senate, losing in the Democratic primary to Kate Lieber.
Fai has been self-employed since 2017 as the director of the Pan African Planning Group.
After she earned a bachelor's degree from Portland State University in 2010, she was a diversity and quality improvement consultant for the Multnomah County Health Department from 2010 to 2014, and a program manager for the Portland nonprofit Upstream Public Health from 2014 to 2017.
Fai sits on the advisory committee for Clean Water Services, the agency in charge of wastewater and stormwater treatment in urban Washington County — the county commissioners are the agency's governing board — and the state Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee. Gov. Kate Brown appointed her to the latter panel, which advises the state Public Health Division.
Fai, who came to the United States when her family fled war-torn Somalia as refugees, lives in Aloha with her husband Sam and two children.
Hindley has worked for more than 20 years in Yamhill County government, currently as a supervisor for at-risk youth in the juvenile detention center in McMinnville. He sits on a couple of Washington County boards: Homeless Plan Advisory Committee and Rural Roads Operations and Maintenance Advisory Committee.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.