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Republican Larry McDonald hopes to unseat Democrat and fellow Wilsonville resident Courtney Neron

COURTESY PHOTO - Larry McDonald While state Rep. Courtney Neron, D-Wilsonville, currently holds the Oregon House of Representatives District 26 seat, another Wilsonville resident is vying to oust her.

Larry McDonald, a Wilsonville resident since 2012, has filed his candidacy with the Oregon Secretary of State's Office and will run in the Republican primary. McDonald currently is the only Republican running for the House District 26 seat, according to the secretary of state's office website. The district includes Wilsonville, Sherwood, part of Hillsboro, King City and other areas.

McDonald has strongly derided Neron on social media. A post on his Friends of Larry McDonald Facebook page called her an "environmental extremist" and a video on his YouTube channel said Neron's votes are "ruinous to Oregon's economy" and "dangerous for Oregonians." Nevertheless, he said he wouldn't engage in personal attacks during the election and was less scathing when talking with the Spokesman.

"She's a nice person," McDonald said of Neron. "This isn't personal. I just happen to disagree with her votes."

McDonald, whose occupation is in commercial pest control and sales and mainly works in Portland, said the 2019 legislative session, which was controlled by a large Democratic Party majority, was the last straw that spurred him to run for public office.

"It was pretty egregious at the legislative session," he said. "You can either sit on the sidelines or do something about it."

McDonald was particularly unhappy with the business tax the Legislature passed to fund programs within the Student Success Act, which was designed to infuse school districts statewide with more resources. He believes too much of that money will go to PERS (the Public Employment Retirement System). However, though a portion of that money could be used to fund PERS, most of the money is slated for programs that don't include paying off PERS as an allowed use.

"They made it sound like it was for the kids, but that's not true at all," McDonald said.

McDonald also opposed measures to scale back the death penalty and loosen Measure 11 requirements, which includes mandatory minnimum sentences for certain crimes, for youth offenders.

"I'm sure the other side meant well, but they're not considering the risk to public safety," he said.

McDonald also is in favor of loosening business regulations and taxes and establishing a program to convert waste into energy.

"We need to loosen up some regulations and taxes to free family-wage jobs," McDonald said. "A lot of that is construction. Right now, it takes two years from the time you get plans from the city planners' office to the time you get to dirt."

McDonald said he's working to garner support via social media, soon will begin knocking on doors, and has raised about $500 so far. He doesn't have political experience and said he hasn't been in contact with the Republican Party establishment in Oregon.

The primary election will take place in May while the general election will be held next November.

"It's still pretty early," McDonald said. "I'm learning how to campaign and learning how to solicit donations. It's not as easy as it looks."


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