Clackamas Democrats don’t sit on their hands in so-called non-partisan elections. They know candidates have values, and they work for and support those candidates who share their values. (Endorsed candidates in bold.)
In the case of Tuesday’s special district elections with 77 overall races, Clackamas Democrats won eight of the 11 contested races they worked on. Many races were uncontested but worth mentioning is Betty Reynolds, of West Linn. She won election to the Clackamas Community College board; she was appointed a few months ago to a vacant slot and was unopposed.
Also winning on the CCC board was incumbent Chris Groener, of Oregon City. He had two challengers but prevailed with 63 percent of the vote. In the county’s biggest school district, North Clackamas, one race was contested and Orlando Perez was elected unseating incumbent Rein Varga, 55-45 percent.
Especially hard fought were two races in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. Incumbent Chelsea King Martin, of Wilsonville, earned 61 percent over her challenger; while Jordan Ferris, West Linn, narrowly lost to Christy Thompson by 52-48 percent. Neither had run for office before.
Oregon City Schools saw its board turn from red to blue with three incumbents heading for the door. Winners were Anna Farmer and Pamela White, both of Oregon City, and Steven Soll, of Redland. They are joining Martha Spier, Beavercreek, who won two years ago, to create a majority on that panel.
Canby saw the biggest battles. Both endorsed candidates, Art Marine and Andrea Weber, were unable to pull off victory. Weber’s race was fierce and close — she lost 51 percent to 49 percent. In real numbers the difference was just 73 votes out of 3,832 cast.
Lake Oswego was a knock-down drag out war as incumbent John Wallin retained his seat on the board, stopping Kelly Calabria. She was reportedly counseled by former GOP election queen Elaine Franklin, former chief of staff to (and current spouse) of retired U.S. Senator Robert Packwood.
Sort of saving the best for last, we have a retired librarian, Naomi Angier, of unincorporated Milwaukie, former chair of the Clackamas River Water Board, facing another board member, Trump fan David McNeel. She whipped him 59-41 percent, the kind of win we like to see.
Lake Oswego Schools, the Tualatin Valley Fire District, and the City of Lake Oswego all passed money measures with most such issues faring well across the state.
Turnout across the county, by the way, was low. Just 18.5 percent compared to Washington County’s 19.8 percent and the state-wide number of 20.86 percent. Overall, those places in our county where neighborhood leaders were active, voter turnout doubled.