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Six positions in the elected regional government are on the ballot in the May 17 primary election.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The logo of the elected regional government outside its headquarters.In normal times, all 2022 Metro races likely would be settled at the May 17 primary election with the incumbents winning. Any candidate who gets more than 50% of the vote wins outright. The elected regional government does not receive as much media coverage as the Portland City Council or Multnomah County Commission, increasing the advantages of the existing officeholders. And only one of the six races has more than two candidates.

But these are not normal times. Recent polls show voters overwhelmingly believe the region is headed in the wrong direction. Metro has put itself at the forefront of the most contentious issue in recent years — homelessness — by asking voters to approve ballot measures for more affordable housing and supportive services.

But even though both passed, visible progress has been negligible. And the advocacy group People for Portland has been running TV and other ads naming Metro President Lynn Peterson among the top elected officials failing to solve the region's problems.

Even in these circumstances, incumbent Peterson holds a substantial fundraising advantage over her most serious challenger, urban planning and economic development consultant Alisa Pyszka, however. Peterson has raised nearly $215,000 over the past two years and still has more than $109,000 in the bank. Pyszka has only raised a little over $49,000 and has spent more than half of it. But Peterson raised most of her money in 2021. This year Pyszka has reported almost $21,000 compared to just over $39,000 for Peterson.

Two other candidates also are running for Metro president, giving voters who don't want to vote for Peterson other options. Engineers Gregory Horner and Gary Dye have yet to report raising any money, however.

The open District No. 1 race will be won by Oregon Walks Executive Director Ashton Simpson because he is unopposed.

Incumbent Christine Lewis would seem to have the edge in the District No. 2 race because she has raised more $6,000 while her opponent, businesswoman Mei Wong, has not reported any funding.

The District No. 4 race could be closer. Incumbent Juan Carlos Gonzalez has raised more than $49,000. His challenger, businessman James Ball, reports raising more than $17,000.

The same is true of the District No. 6 race to fill the unexpired term of former Commissioner Bob Stacey, who resigned last year for health reasons. Incumbent Duncan Hwang has only been in office since early January and reports raising almost $21,000 so far. He is being challenged by Terri Preeg Riggsby, the general manager of a nonprofit organization serving East African immigrants, who has raised more than $12,000 to date.

And the Metro auditor race will be won by incumbent Brain Evans because he is running unopposed.


METRO COUNCIL PRESIDENT

Candidate: Lynn Peterson (incumbent)

Occupation: Metro Council president

Public experience: Engineer, Wisconsin Department of Transportation; travel forecaster, Metro; transportation advocate, 1000 Friends of Oregon; strategic planner, TriMet; senior transportation adviser, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber; Lake Oswego City Councilor, (2003-06); Clackamas County Commissioner (2007-08); chair, Clackamas County Commission (2008-11); secretary of transportation, Washington Department of Transportation (2013-16)

Website: electlynnpeterson.com

Contributions to date: $214,978


Candidate: Alisa Pyszka

Occupation: President, Bridge Economic Development

Public experience: Economic development manager, city of Vancouver; vice-president of recruitment, Greater Portland Inc.; adjunct professor, Portland State University; member, Metro Transit Oriented Development Steering Committee; member, Metro Equitable Housing Grant Committee, member, City Center Redevelopment Authority, city of Vancouver

Website: alisaformetro.com

Contributions to date: $49,005


Candidate: Gregory Horner

Occupation: Wireless telecommunications engineer

Public experience: None

Website: t.me/electhorner

Contributions to date: None


Candidate: Gary Dye

Occupation: Engineer

Public experience: David Douglas Budget Committee

Website: garydye2020.wordpress.com

Contributions to date: None


METRO COUNCILOR DISTRICT No. 1

Candidate: Ashton Simpson

Occupation: Executive director, Oregon Walks

Public experience: member, Portland Fix Our Streets Oversight Committee; member, Interstate Bridge Replacement Committee; member, ODOT Area Committee on Transportation, Region 1; member, Local Investment Team for Metro Transportation Measure

Website: ashtonformetro.com

Contributions to date: $28,994


METRO COUNCILOR DISTRICT No. 2

Candidate: Christine Lewis (incumbent)

Occupation: Metro Councilor

Public experience: Bureau of Labor and Industries, legislative and communications director; city of Portland, Office of Government Relations, senior associate; Yes for Affordable Homes, campaign manager; Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey, policy director; member, West Linn Historic Review Board; member, Clackamas County Vector Control District Budget Committee

Website: christinelewisformetro.com

Contributions to date: $6,320


Candidate: Mei Wong

Occupation: President, Royal Comfort LLC

Public experience: Founder/CEO, People for Voice; board chair, Easter Seals Oregon SCSEP Program

Website: None

Contributions to date: None


METRO COUNCILOR DISTRICT No. 4

Candidate: Juan Carlos Gonzalez (incumbent)

Occupation: Metro Councilor

Public experience: Board member, UnidosUS; board member, Washington County Ignite; board member, Westside Economic Alliance; board member, Sport Oregon; member, Washington County Latino Policy Council

Website: gonzalez4oregon.com

Contributions to date: $44,708


Candidate: James Ball

Occupation: Owner, ProLift Garage Doors

Public experience: Captain, U.S. Army; captain, Oregon National Guard; precinct committee member

Website: jamesaball.com

Contributions to date: $17,100


METRO COUNCILOR DISTRICT No. 6 (two-year unexpired term)

Candidate: Duncan Hwang (incumbent)

Occupation: Metro Councilor; Associate director, APANO Communities United Fund

Public experience: Law clerk, Clackamas County District Attorney's Office; member, Metro Committee for Racial Equity; member, Metro Affordable Housing Bond Stakeholder Committee; member, city of Portland Economic Recovery Task Force; member, TriMet Low Income Fare Task Force

Website: duncanformetro.com

Contributions to date: $20,282


Candidate: Terri Preeg Riggsby

Occupation: General manager, HAKI Community Organization

Public experience: Board chair, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District; president, Oregon Association of Conservation District; Oregon delegate, National Association of Conversation Districts

Website: terriformetro.com

Contributions to date: $12,199


METRO AUDITOR

Candidate: Brian Evans (incumbent)

Occupation: Metro auditor

Public experience: Principal management auditor and senior manage auditor, Metro; senior economic adviser, Business Oregon; microfinance program assistant, AmeriCorp VISTA, Mercy Corps

Website: None

Contributions to date: $415


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