A self-identified member of the Proud Boys is losing in early returns to a Gresham police officer in seeking the Republican nomination for House District 40, which includes Clackamas County communities such as Oregon City, Gladstone and Jennings Lodge.
Adam Baker, who has served in multiple capacities as a police officer and detective with the city of Gresham for the past 23 years, was leading against Dan Tooze by a 65% to 35% margin in initial May 17 election returns. Both candidates are Oregon City residents.
Baker's election-night lead against Tooze provides a preliminary glimpse into the Republican choice for HD40, which could switch as the Clackamas County Elections Office slowly counts additional ballots over the next few weeks. May 17 election results are delayed because the county sent out most ballots with defective barcodes, forcing a manual process for counting the majority of votes.
Baker said he's focused on taking his policing experience to the Legislature to lead the efforts in creating safer communities, especially for those in that suburban district, who he says are seeing "spillover of crime" from Portland.
Democratic Rep. Mark Meek created an open seat in the district by running for the Oregon Senate this year, and three Democrats vied for their party's nomination to take on Baker or Tooze during the upcoming November election.
Tooze lists his occupation as self-employed in the field of materials handling. He previously ran in the 2020 Republican primary for HD40, garnering about 40.2% of the vote.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys were created in 2016 and espouse extremist, white nationalist theories. The group clashed often with extreme left-wing groups, called anti-fascist or antifa, in the Portland area for a few years, and Tooze was banned from reserving space in Oregon City parks after a riot in Clackamette Park last summer.
If elected as a state representative, Tooze said he would write bills against "critical race theory," which, according to Education Week, is an academic concept that has been around for more than 40 years that claims racism is caused not only by individual prejudice but is also embedded in legal systems and policies.
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