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Charles Gallia: State representative helped keep renters in their homes through Senate Bill 608.

It might come as a surprise to some that I called Bill Kennemer and encouraged him to pursue the Senate appointment after Alan Olsen resigned. After all, I was the chair of the Clackamas County Democrats.Charles Gallia

I first met Bill when I ran for state representative against him in 2016. At that time I found him to be cordial, professional and kind of a nice guy. I felt that he would be the most reasonable senator of those who were considering running at the time.

You can imagine my surprise when I open my mailbox and found a misleading, mudslinging hit piece from Bill that reeks of desperation.

The truth of the matter is Rep. Mark Meek will be a great state senator. He's been an advocate and champion for people to get into and stay in their homes. Bill is lying. Senate Bill 608 protects renters and doesn't harm them. Mark Meek fought to make sure that circumstances during the pandemic wouldn't mean evictions for people, even though it angered some realtors.

And Bill?

Bill is misleading voters. We need representatives that are honest and not fear-mongering.

Bill walked of the job during the legislative session. He hasn't done his job.

I regret encouraging him and he should be ashamed.

This district deserves better. Mark Meek is the right choice.

Charles Gallia is an Oregon City resident and former chair of the Clackamas County Democratic Party. An online version of this opinion article was updated on Oct. 3 to correct a typo on the rent-control bill number, which is Senate Bill 608, not 680.

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