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Meet the candidates: Democrat Tessah Danel and Incumbent Republican Christine Drazan

Two women from Canby are vying for the Oregon House District 39 seat: Democrat Tessah Danel and incumbent Republican Christine Drazan.

Drazan has held the seat since 2019 and Republicans have held it since 2002. After her first year as representative, Drazan became the Republican caucus leader.

The largely rural HD39 area includes Estacada, Eagle Creek, Barton, Beavercreek, Boring, Canby, Carus, Charbonneau, Fischers Mill, Mulino, Redland, rural areas of Oregon City and portions of Damascus and Happy Valley.

Tessah Danel

Danel wants to bring honesty, integrity and transparency to the Oregon house, according to her Voters' Pamphlet statement.

Like many Oregonians, the banker and mother has faced trying times over the last few months with her husband losing his job due to COVID-19, she and her family contracting the virus and having to evacuate their home because of the Riverside wildfire.

Through it all, she has found herself still wanting to serve those around her.

COURTESY PHOTO: TESSAH DANEL - Tessah Danel is the Democratic candidate running for Oregon House District 39.

"When I start to wonder why I am working so hard to do this, I think of those who are less fortunate than I am," Danel said. "I think of those who need someone like me to believe in them and fight for what is right. I think of the environment, the animals, the first responders who are risking their lives to save ours.

"This is why I fight," she said. "For my family. For my people. For me."

In the pamphlet, the Friends of Tessah Danel listed four main things Danel brings to the table.

First, it says she is an independent leader for the community.

"For too long, our community has had a State Representative who is accountable to special interests, not us," the statement says. "We need an independent leader, like Tessah, who believes in the importance of being transparent, accessible, and accountable — and actually showing up to work."

The pamphlet also says she believes in a better future for children. She intends to fight for good public schools, career and technical education, funding for higher education and safe housing.

She also intends to fight for workers, small businesses and to protect Oregon's natural beauty.

Danel graduated from Warner Pacific University with a bachelor's degree in business. She has worked in agriculture, commercial, nonprofit and small business banking and is currently the vice president of small business banking at Bank of the West.

Danel's prior governmental experience includes serving as an advisor on the Clackamas County Water Environment Services and as a commissioner on the Clackamas River Water Board.

Christine Drazan

COURTESY PHOTO: CHRISTINE DRAZAN - Christine Drazan is the incumbent and the Republican candidate for Oregon House District 39.If elected, Drazan plans to continue to listen to the stories of constituents in the district and work to make things better.

"Our district is incredible," Drazan said. "There are heroes all around us. The pandemic and wildfires affirmed what we already knew, that when times get tough — and they have been tough for a while now — our community works and sacrifices for each other.

"In my role as state representative, I have the opportunity to ask people how I can help them and they often share their stories. From these stories, I get to better understand the needs of this district and humbly work to make things better, helping people by connecting them with resources and advocating for jobs, education, health and safety.

"I am running for reelection to serve others, to make things better for our state and to make a difference for our community."

In Drazan's pamphlet statement, the Friends of Christine Drazan also pointed to four main things that she brings to the table.

First, she has stood up for families and local businesses, the statement says.

"Christine Drazan has worked tirelessly with small businesses and local families to help them through these difficult times, keeping her promise to stand up for her constituents," Estacada Mayor Sean Drinkwine says in the pamphlet.

She also has worked to protect patients and improve health care, co-sponsoring legislation to reduce barriers for patients seeking treatment and supported legislation to require advanced notice of major increases in drug costs.

Drazan is also focused on supporting students, including raising standards for public schools. She also intends to work to responsibly restart the economy and sustain growth.

Drazan holds a bachelor of arts degree from George Fox University. She has worked as the executive director for the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition, at the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and as the chief of staff for the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.

Her prior governmental experience includes serving on the Clackamas County Planning Commission, the Canby School District Budget Committee, the Oregon Innovation Council and the Willamette Falls Locks Commission.

Kristen Wohlers
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