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Our opinion: Director of Westside Economic Alliance would bring vision to county.

PAMPLIN MEDIA PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Pam Treece has impressed us with a vigorous campaign and well-rounded knowledge of Washington County issues, and we believe she deserves a four-year term on the Board of Commissioners from District 2.The race for District 2 on the Washington County Commission is down to the incumbent, Greg Malinowski, vs. the challenger, Pam Treece. And if voters are having a tough time choosing, welcome to the club.

The race was a close call, but we are endorsing Pam Treece for the seat.

The district starts at the doorstep to Multnomah County and includes northern portions of Beaverton, along with Cedar Mill, Rock Creek and a section of the county due north of Hillsboro.

Treece comes to this position after serving as executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance, which has grown into one of the best, most thoughtful, more holistic public policy forums in the state. There are instances in which the alliance serves as the bully pulpit that the City Club of Portland once was and still tries to be, with mixed results.

Running the alliance gives Treece a high perch with good sight-lines. She has spoken to the newspaper staff on several occasions and shows a competent knowledge of issues ranging from housing and transportation to equity and public health. Economic development is a strong suit, and she has a deep knowledge of the issues facing businesses large and small. But her long list of endorsements extends beyond the business community to include NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, labor unions and former Gov. Barbara Roberts.

We won't sugarcoat this: Gender is an issue. The existing Washington County Commission is a collection of five middle-aged white guys. An opportunity to get a little bit of diversity on that dais helped push her over the top for us.

Malinowski is born and raised in this area and has served on the commission since 2011. He's got a good list of endorsements and a solid voting record.

Equally important: Last year, Jerry Jones Jr., a member of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce and an elected member of the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation Board, was accused of sexual harassment with a woman who worked as a volunteer at the chamber. Malinowski was the first elected official in the county to reach out to the newspaper and say, "Enough. Jones has got to go." Speaking to Malinowski at the time, it was clear that he was disgusted by the accusations and felt that all elected officials are tainted by any one elected official acting in so terrible a manner. Malinowski gained great credibility with us at that moment.

We wanted to endorse him for re-election. We were prepared to. But Treece simply put up too good a campaign, with so much energy, knowledge and drive, that she tipped the scale in our direction.

We urge a "yes" vote for Pam Treece.

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