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Former state lawmaker Greg Matthews of Gresham has endorsed Republican Jeff Helfrich for election to House District 52.

Greg MatthewsAs a veteran, a former police officer and a retired fire chief, I recognize another great honor in my life was serving three terms in the Oregon Legislature from 2009-2015.

Throughout my life I have found public service to be greatly rewarding and when I left office, I felt I was able to make a positive contribution to help make my state and my community a better place for all Oregonians.

As a legislator I was known as a moderate Democrat who worked both sides of the aisle to help move good policy forward. What I found was that neither party has a corner on good ideas and solutions to address the problems faced by our state.

The Oregon Citizen Legislature was designed to bring sincere public servants from all corners of the state together to collaborate in good faith in a process that allows good ideas to be presented and given honest consideration.

When it works, it's a wonderful and rewarding thing to be a part of and I'm thankful that I had a chance to witness it and make a positive contribution to the process during my time of service. It's what the Oregon Way is all about.

Unfortunately, Salem has changed. Over the last few election cycles Democrats have gained enough seats that they now have a 38-22 supermajority in the House.

Gone is the cross-party collaboration that I enjoyed and in its place is a partisan style of leadership that is resulting in poor outcomes for Oregon. Rather than encouraging free exchange of ideas and solutions from all members of both parties, too often it's the Portland area legislators who control the agenda and impose their will on the people.

The super majority seems consumed by imposing ever higher taxes and more government regulations. The result is a Legislature that is consumed with strife and division that creates a recipe for disaster as small businesses and citizens alike seek recovery from the current pandemic.

That's why this former Democrat legislator is voting for Jeff Helfrich to be the next representative for House District 52. Jeff is a retired police officer. His inherent common sense and problem-solving skills are something that Salem needs very badly.

Jeff won't forget who he represents and get swept up in the Portland tide that continues to dominate Salem. And changing even one seat in the Legislature can help restore the balance that I remember and help restore doing business in Salem to the Oregon Way. Please join me in supporting Jeff Helfrich for state representative.

Greg Matthews is a lifelong Gresham resident and served in the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 50, from 2009 to 2015.

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