Paul Savas wins third term on Clackamas County Commission
Paul Savas has won a third term at Position 2 on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.
Unofficial May 15 election results showed Savas — who was challenged by Oak Grove resident Peter Winter and Louise Lopes of Mulino — at 60 percent. Winter followed at 23 percent and Lopes polled at 17 percent.
Savas avoided a November runoff by earning more than 50 percent of the vote in the May primary.
Savas, the incumbent who lives in unincorporated Clackamas County and joined the commission in 2010, ran on a platform of continuing his commitment to core issues like transportation, housing and employment. He envisioned hitting the ground running in his third term, utilizing the knowledge and relationships he'd developed in his eight years on the commission to push forward with projects like widening I-205 and extending the Sunrise Corridor.
Savas said he was humbled by the election results.
"As I knocked on doors and talked with voters throughout the county, it became clear they were embracing my positive campaign addressing the key issues of transportation, rising housing costs and the need for jobs that support families," Savas said. "I feel a tremendous responsibility to uphold those campaign priorities and work with my fellow commissioners to keep the county moving forward. I am committed to working towards prosperity and solutions that will best serve our growing communities."
His challengers, meanwhile, argued that the county could use a fresh perspective. Winter said he was running in an effort address growing inequality throughout the county and disagreed strongly with Savas' vision on the Sunrise Corridor.
"I came in hoping to get 20 percent — that was my goal," Winter said. "My main goal was to shed light on the fact that we have 600 homeless kids [in the North Clackamas School District] … and Oak Grove has this huge problem with a storage unit going up that's three stories. We need to focus on our planning."
Winter said he would continue to stay involved within the Oak Grove community, and might consider another county position in the future.
Lopes said during the campaign that the county would benefit from her extensive experience working in different levels of state government, as well as her view from a rural portion of the area. A newcomer to electoral politics, she said she was inspired in large part by the results of the 2016 presidential election and the increase in activism that followed.
"Other than my fuel I had zero budget, so 17 percent of the vote on zero budget [isn't disappointing]," Lopes said. "I didn't have any crazy notions that I would run away with it. 17 percent, I think, is a pretty healthy number."
Like Winter, Lopes said she hopes to find other ways to be involved moving forward.
"I don't know what is available to run for in the fall," she said. "They say you can't run for same position, but I'll look at something else."