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Monday, October 5, 2020

A Clear Choice for County Commissioner

 Our county has been devastated by wildfires and a global pandemic. What will determine our future is how we act today. One of the candidates promises business as usual. He is offering to cut taxes and declare war on public employees. The other candidate, Ken Humberston, recognizes that now is the time to invest in our communities. Now is the time to take bold action to rebuild our infrastructure, our damaged communities and our schools.

During his first years in office, Commissioner Humberston has housed homeless vets, built an internet-access system for rural schools before distance learning became the norm and has promoted next-generation technologies for job creation.

The Department of Veteran Affairs has given special recognition to Clackamas County’s efforts to end homelessness for our Veterans.  

When rural schools were told by Big Telecom what it would cost to bring next-generation internet access to their doors, the school districts realized it was not affordable. The County stepped in and created its own cable access system with other partners, and now schools and other special districts have access to affordable internet, just in time for distance-learning systems now in place. As forest- products mills closed devastating rural communities, the County, working with the community college, developed next generation forest-products jobs with superior carbon footprints.

Nothing could clarify the difference between the two candidates better than Commissioner Humberston’s fight for a project labor agreement for the new courthouse. By demanding that the new building be built with local unionized labor, Ken has kept more money in our local economy and made sure that the workers have safe work and adequate medical insurance and pensions. His opponent would rather see that money go to Wall Street than to workers.  

During Ken’s term, the County developed its zero-carbon emissions plan and is well on its way to obtaining its goals.

Ken, a US Marine Corps Vet,  worked tirelessly with other volunteers to provide support to our neighbors who were forced to evacuate and especially to those who lost everything in the fires.

Ken’s opponent mistakenly believes that investing in our future is wasteful. He would rather cut funding for road maintenance, reduce public services for those in need and apparently thinks that those who lost everything should be abandoned and left on their own.

Back in May, Humberston came close to winning the required 51% majority against two Republican opponents: Mark Shull, of Sandy, and Breeauna Sagdal of Molalla. He now faces Shull in a run-off. Recently, Sagdal endorsed Ken with these convincing words:

“In running against Ken Humberston, I've come to know and respect him immensely. He ran a clean campaign against me, always the gentleman, staying focused on policy and the issues. Watching him update the public daily, throughout the Covid-19 crisis, and then through the fires, earned my trust. Seeing him engage, and volunteer within our community, taking care of our most vulnerable, won my heart. 

“His willingness to be open, honest and to hear out constituents earned my vote. Humberston cares about our jobs, families and our rural way of life. I trust that he has the knowledge and tact to fight for Clackamas in Salem, and that's why he's now earned my endorsement.

“All that matters is sending the best person for the job, which doesn't always adhere to party lines. We need balanced people to help balance our State, and Humberston has proven to be the type of balance that we need, in order to restore our government.