Clackamas Democrats are continuing their quiet elation in sweeping every race in which they had a contested candidate in this week’s special district elections. Local Democratic campaigners batted nine-for-nine, including knocking out a major Tea Party incumbent, Jim Knapp, who enjoyed thousands of dollars of support from the Oregon Transformation Project as they hoped to groom him for a county commission race next year.
Larry Skidmore, chair of the Clackamas County Democratic Party, said the Democrats looked at every race in the county and decided to focus on good governance as a first priority. Therefore, if districts were working smoothly and there were no outliers causing trouble and working contrary to the greater good, they didn’t get involved. In other races they recruited candidates and then helped them win with door-to-door canvassing, phoning, mounting lawn signs, and related campaign activity. Overall, it was a big success on the campaign front:
–Ken Humberston and Hugh Kalani were elected to the Clackamas River Water Board, affirming their earlier appointment. In both cases two of the former antagonistic and combative directors failed to hold or regain their seats in a district which has been so frenzied at times as to have its insurance carrier not renew its liability policy.
–Larry Kitchen succeeded in a write-in campaign for a Lake Grove Water Board position.
–Sarah Howell won a seat on the Lake Oswego School Board.
–Christine Roth beat two challengers for a River Grove Water District Seat.
–Jan Smith dumped an incompetent, disruptive incumbent on the Sandy Fire District Board.
–David Gray and Nancy Gibson ousted incumbents on the Oak Lodge Water District board with Ms. Gibson doing the major damage to Knapp, the same guy who, with John Ludlow brought us those ridiculous ballot measures not helping to pay for Sellwood Bridge repairs, on getting rid of urban renewal districts in the county, on demanding a vote before any county money is spent on light rail, and so forth.
–Keith Steele won re-election to the West Linn-Wilsonville School District board where he is chair.
Three other measures were on the ballot. A Metro measure to generate money to pay for parks maintenance failed in the county but passed in the region. A North Clackamas Recreation and Park District measure allowing the district to swap land on the Trolley Trail in Oak Grove with TriMet passed. And the measure Ludlow and Knapp brought us last year calling for a vote before the county can spend money on light rail succeeded. This is a hollow victory, however, as TriMet has already filed suit against the county for reneging on contractual obligations related to the Orange Line under construction to Milwaukie. This put Ludlow in the awkward position of calling for a Yes vote while his Tea Party colleagues successfully campaigned for defeat. They got defeat—for county taxpayers who now have to pay for this suit and perhaps others.