Clackamas County representatives in Oregon House secure wins
The three Democrats representing communities of northern Clackamas County have won reelection to the Oregon Legislature.
Rep. Karin Power (D-Milwaukie), Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) and Rep. Mark Meek (D-Gladstone/Oregon City) all earned third terms, easily defeating their challengers.
Power secured victory over Republican challenger Michael Newgard by 75-to-25%, according to unofficial returns.
""I'm really grateful to the voters of House District 41 for sending me back to Salem for a third term," Power said. "Based on the returns I've seen, Oregonians are sending a majority Democrats in consecutive elections."
Power is an environmental attorney and former Milwaukie city councilor. She was first elected to represent the citizens of House District 41 in 2016. She currently serves on several important legislative committees, including as chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environment, and vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Over the past four years, Power has led efforts in the house to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions and tax polluters. She said she's also proud to have been part of a legisalture that passed a monumental paid family and medical leave programs in the country, as well as major investments in education.
According to Power, one of her top priorities moving forward is looking at how COVID-19 has exposed systemic injustices in in our country, particularly how the pandemic's financial effects haven't been born equitably people in all socioeconomic brackets.
"We have a lot of work to do to ensure that our recovery is equitable and just," Power said. "A big part of our work will be shaping the budget in the biennium ahead to do just that."
Bynum also won her third straight term representing Happy Valley by defeating two challengers — Republican nominee Jane Hays and Donald Crawford, a Libertarian.
According to early returns, Bynum earned 54% of the vote. Hays finished second with 42%.
Bynum was first elected to represent House District 51 in 2016 when she defeated Republican candidate and former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer by securing 51% of the vote. Bynum was also successful in a 2018 rematch against Chavez-DeRemer by 8% points.
A small-business owner, Bynum also serves as a member of the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs, the Portland Community College President's Council, Business Oregon and the Center for Women's Leadership. Bynum is chair of the House Judiciary Committee and vice-chair of the House Committee on Business and Labor.
Meek secured his third term representing House District 40 by earning 56% of the vote. Meek defeated Republican candidate Josh Howard, who earned 44% of the vote, according to early returns.
Meek is a longtime Gladstone resident, Realtor and small-business owner. He has coached high school football, served on the Clackamas County Planning Commission and was chair of the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of Oregon Legislature's People of Color caucus and serves as co-chair on the joint ways and means committee on transportation and a joint task force on addressing racial disparities in home ownership.
Meek was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2016, defeating his Republican opponent by nearly eight points in one of Oregon's most competitive House districts.
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