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Metro Council expected to appoint a temporary replacement for retiring District 2 Councilor Carlotta Collette tonight

TIDINGS PHOTOS: PATRICK MALEE - Christine Lewis spoke before dozens of supporters at the Willamette Ale & Cider House as she formally launched her campaign for Metro Council Sunday, March 4. Speaking at the March 4 launch party for West Linn resident Christine Lewis's Metro Council campaign, Elizabeth Mazzara Myers joked about the origins of her relationship with the candidate.

"I was going to talk about how I met Christine, but then I realized I had no idea how I met Christine — I just know that I've always known Christine," Mazzara Myers said. "I think it's the same way for a lot of you — she's ubiquitous; she's just always there. Her list of activities, I think, speaks to that."

The launch party was held at the newly opened Willamette Ale & Cider House less than a week before the Metro Council was expected to appoint a temporary replacement for retiring District 2 Councilor Carlotta Collette at its March 8 meeting. Lewis is one of four candidates who applied for that appointment, joining Oak Grove resident Betty Dominguez, Lake Oswego City Councilor Joe Buck and former Oregon City Commissioner Carol Pauli.

The temporary appointment runs through the end of 2018. A primary election for a full four-year Metro Council term will be held May 15; if no candidate earns more than 50 percent of the vote in that primary, the top two finishers will face off in a Nov. 6 general election.

"The Metro Council is going to decide who is going to hold that empty seat through the end of the year, and that person is going to have the benefit of running as the incumbent," said Mike Selvaggio, Lewis's husband and campaign manager. "We want that to be Christine."

Lewis, who currently works as legislative director at the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), highlighted her expansive experience in both regional and local government when speaking before dozens of supporters at the launch party. Having served as the campaign manager in 2016 for the City of Portland's successful $258.4 million affordable housing package — before she arrived at BOLI — Lewis said that housing would continue to be a top priority if she were to be elected. She also highlighted regional transportation needs, pointing out the window at Willamette Falls Drive and noting that it has come to be known as the "third lane" of I-205.

Lewis was recently endorsed by a number of groups, including the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Portland Association of Teachers, and representatives from those parties were among those in attendance March 4. Former West Linn City Councilors Jenni Tan, Thomas Frank and Jody Carson also attended. Lewis has earned support from local residents as well as a number of organizations, including the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Portland Association of Teachers.

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