Around the County — 10/6/17

Candidates Keep Popping Up

By Peter Toll

With the primary election in just over eight months and the general more than a year off, some candidates are getting an early start. And while the early bird may get the worm, it is also said the tortoise wins the race.

The name of Happy Valley Mayor Lori DeRemer, a Republican, is popping up again in the rumor mill. She’s said to be looking seriously at the race for Oregon governor. Incumbent Kate Brown and GOP State Rep. Knute Buehler, of Bend, are already in.

DeRemer’s last go at higher office was unsuccessful last year when she lost the race for the open state representative seat in District 51 to Democrat Janelle Bynum. However, Buehler has some seriously early help via a check for $500,000 (yep, 500 large) from Nike founder Phil Knight. (There oughta be a law . . . no, make that a constitutional amendment to ban such obscenely huge donations.)

Nobody from Clackamas County has arisen for the soon-to-be-vacant nonpartisan statewide position of Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. However, former Oregon House Majority Leader Val Hoyle, of Eugene, has filed, and incumbent Brad Avakian, who is stepping down, is said to have endorsed her. She’s getting lots of labor support, too. Hoyle ran in the primary against Avakian in 2016.

Rod Monroe, incumbent Democrat in State Senate District 24, a long-time member of both the House and the Senate, has drawn two primary challengers: former HD 51 State Rep. Shemia Fagan, and Kasye Jama, of SE Portland. Jama lives in HD 47 on the Multnomah side of the district in SE Portland. House Districts 47 and 48 comprise the Senate District.

Carlotta Collette, one of our county’s two representatives on the Metro Council, is not seeking re-election. A Milwaukie resident, she has contributed strongly in developing the light rail network in the county, as well as Metro’s excellent park system, to name but two areas where she has excelled. No one has filed for the nonpartisan seat yet.

Other odd jottings from here and there

West Linn — Congratulations to Roberta Schwarz and her husband, Ed, as they marked the official opening of the 20-acre White Oak Savanna Park, the oak-studded hillside overlooking the intersection of I-205 and 10th Street. This culminates a 15-year campaign for the hard-working and resolute Schwarzes and many, many volunteers.

Many notables showed up for the grand celebration, among them federal, state, county and city honchos including County Commissioner Sonya Fischer and Mayor Russ Axelrod, we’re told.

Just down the street, a chiropractor’s office has a sandwich board on the sidewalk: “Crawl-ins welcome.” With my chronic lower back issues, I’ve certainly wanted to take them up on that a few times. (Went to my own chiro instead.)

Sandy — Potential Democratic candidates are sounding out potential supporters in House Districts 51 and 52, which comprise Senate District 26. Clackamas County has the biggest number of voters but has had trouble carrying Democrats in the three-county district which stretches from East Portland to Hood River.

Rumors say Incumbent GOP State Senator Chuck Thomsen, of Hood River, may not seek re-election. Mulling the possibilities for his seat is Republican State Rep. Mark Johnson, also of Hood River in District 52. If Thomsen doesn’t run and Johnson wants to move to the Senate, the impact would be two open seats on the ballot. This could be a real Democratic opportunity.

Clackamas — Charles Gallia kicked off his race for State Senate District 20, now held by Republican Alan Olsen, on Sept. 28 at the Discover African Art gallery. That district spans HD 39 (held by GOP’s Bill Kennemer) and HD 40 (held by Democrat Mark Meek) and runs from Gladstone south to Canby and into the hustings, a la Estacada and Carver, where Gallia lives. He is a fifth generation Oregonian.

Clackamas County chair Jim Bernard was a featured speaker, as was Dave Dahl, founder of Dave’s Killer Bread in Milwaukie. An excellent turnout gave Charles a good boost.

Gladstone — Don’t miss the Thursday, Oct. 19, monthly meeting of Clackamas Democrats at the International Operating Engineers union hall at 555 First Street, sort of behind the DMV office. Doors open at 6:30 and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. sharp. Lots of good stuff on the agenda.

Peter Toll has lived in Clackamas County 28 years and is active in the Democratic Party. He lives in Lake Oswego.