Rep.-elect Wlnsvey Campos of Aloha discusses age, representation
With government officials being sworn in left and right at the start of this year, Rep.-elect Wlnsvey Campos, D-Aloha, will soon join them as the youngest female state legislator in Oregon's history.
Campos, 25, beat Republican Daniel Martin in the Nov. 3 general election to serve as the next state representative from Oregon House District 28, which includes parts of Beaverton and Aloha.
"It's an honor and a privilege," said Campos about the win. "I'm ready to get to work. There's a lot to do."
Campos expects to be sworn in Monday, Jan. 11, during an in-person ceremony. She says there will precautions in place to maintain social distancing as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Despite the in-person ceremony, Campos' family will not be in attendance. As a daughter of immigrants, Campos is aware of the symbolic significance of her election into state office but says it's for the best that they are staying safe at home.
"In another timeline, it would have been great to have my father there," she said. "He was a big influence in making me into who I am today."
Although Washington County is the state's most diverse by race and ethnicity, its legislative delegation is not. Prior to Campos' victory last November, the county had not elected a Latino legislator since Hillsboro Rep. Joe Gallegos in 2014.
Despite her win, Campos says there's a long way to go when it comes to representation.
"We need representation across the board. We need folks in that building who understand different lived community experiences," she said. "For example, those that grew up in a low-income family."
Campos' age has also been a big topic surrounding her run for office.
When asked if her "imposter syndrome" had disappeared after getting elected, Campos said he hasn't gone away completely.
"Some things that I've noticed over the years is that the statistics say I'm not supposed to be here — that I'm not supposed to be sworn in in less than a week," she added. "I come from a low-income family, and I'm a daughter of immigrants. Even graduating college statistics said weren't in my favor."
Campos was born in Los Angeles. Her family later moved to Bandon, and Campos attended Pacific University in Forest Grove. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science and philosophy.
"I want to make sure that I'm not the youngest for long," Campos said about being the youngest female state legislator in Oregon's history. "We're seeing a lot of that activism and eagerness to work in politics."
The biggest issues she hopes to tackle in 2021 include the impacts of COVID-19, housing and access to healthcare.
"If we don't have urgency to act on these issues, then it's going to become the usual," said Campos.
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