Tribune endorsement: Rob Nosse, House District 42
When challenging an incumbent, you have to make the case for why voters should fire the person holding the job.
Paige Kreisman failed to convince us that Rep. Rob Nosse has reached his expiration date.
Like many Oregonians, Kreisman is frustrated by how the Democrats are using their supermajority in the state Legislature. But unlike those who live in red or purple districts, she is upset that the Dems haven't done more to advance a far-left agenda.
"We are not a purple state," said Kreisman, an Army vet who is endorsed by Democratic Socialists of American and BerniePDX. "We are a blue state now."
That comment shows the main difference between the two candidates. Kreisman views the job of a state lawmaker as representing the views of the district. And many voters in this Southeast Portland district no doubt agree with them that corporations should pay more, pension reform is off the table, the new tenant protections are too weak and House Speaker Tina Kotek is too conservative.
Kreisman's problem is that the guy in the job now shares most of those views but understands that politics often is the art of finding what's possible.
Does Nosse, an organizer for the Oregon Nurses Association, think the Student Success Act, which will pour $2 billion of funds into public schools, went far enough? No. Would he like to see more protections for tenants, low-wage workers and the environment? Yes, yes and yes.
And, he's spent six years making slow, steady progress on his priorities, often settling for compromises. That's not a fault, it's necessity.
Nosse seemed annoyed that Kreisman is challenging him from the left. We disagree. Kreisman's tough-talking campaign has forced him to articulate his vision for the state and ask his constituents to re-affirm their support. In our view. he's earned it and will be a better lawmaker for having had to fight for it.
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