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Woodburn city councilor is first immigrant Latina to be elected to the Legislature.

COURTESY PHOTO - Teresa Alonso LeonDemocrat Teresa Alonso Leon won the seat for Oregon House of Representatives District 22 last night with 53 percent of the vote. Alonso, who led Republican opponent Patti Milne with 45 percent of the vote, will be the first immigrant Latina to serve in the Oregon Legislature, according to PCUN.

"It was really about grassroots efforts and connecting with as many people as possible," Alonso Leon said this morning. "It feels wonderful that I get to represent the voices of the many diverse community members in the district."

Alonso Leon has represented Ward I on the Woodburn City Council since 2013 and currently works as the state’s GED administrator for the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development.

Alonso Leon’s platform was focused on providing quality, affordable education to students and increasing government accountability.

“I am running for state representative to help get Salem’s priorities straight and create a government that is more accountable,” she wrote on her campaign website.

Alonso Leon was born in Michoacán, Mexico and moved to Oregon with her family when she was 4 years old. During her three years on the Woodburn City Council, Alonso Leon was the council’s sole Hispanic member.

While city councilor, Alonso focused on increasing the diversity of perspectives on the council by spearheading the formation of an inclusion advisory committee and pushing for council to reach out by holding meetings in places other than City Hall, like Legion Park and Nuevo Amanecer.

Alonso Leon was endorsed by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, as well as Betty Komp, the previous representative for House District 22. Organizations such as PCUN, Oregon AFL-CIO, and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters also endorsed Alonso Leon.

Milne, Alonso’s opponent, is a long-running member of Oregon politics. Milne served on the Oregon State Legislature from 1993 to 1998 before serving as Marion County commissioner from 1999 to 2014.

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