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Courtney Neron will face off against Hillsboro area legislator Rich Vial for the seat in November.

More than a month after the Democratic candidate dropped out of the race for Oregon's expansive House District 26, a new challenger has taken up the mantle.

Courtney Neron will face off against Hillsboro area legislator Rich Vial for the seat in November.

House District 26 represents a large swath of Washington and Clackamas County in the Oregon House of Representatives, stretching from southern Hillsboro south to Sherwood and Wilsonville.

In June, Wilsonville Democrat Ryan Spiker stepped down from his campaign due to health reasons. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, but said stress from the race put a strain on his health.

Neron was chosen at a convention of Washington and Clackamas county Democrats on Saturday, July 28. Neron, a former teacher at Tigard High School, was endorsed by Spiker. She lives in Wilsonville.

In a statement released Saturday, Vial said he looked forward to the race against Neron, and commended her "willingness to serve."

"As my office has recently worked to assist her family with state government issues, my sense is that she is a genuinely good person who, as a teacher and a mother, wants what's best for our communities and is working to make Wilsonville a better place," Vial said.

Vial has served in the Oregon House since 2016 and is seeking his second term.

Neron's campaign was welcomed by Oregon House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, who said Neron would focus on education.

"As a teacher and mother, she knows the importance of a great public education and quality, affordable health care," Williamson said. "I know Courtney is ready to hit the ground running and fight for a better future for everyone."

In her endorsement of Neron, Williamson took a swipe at Vial, saying he was beholden to "the extremists of his party."

In a statement released Saturday, Vial said Williamson's comments were "unfortunate."

"I've always tried to represent my constituents in a thoughtful and transparent manner. Going forward, it's my hope that Ms. Neron shares my desire to run a positive campaign and stick to the issues."

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