May 2014 Primary Election
Have you voted yet?
If not, I'll share with you some of my thoughts on the various candidates and measures on the ballot in the Portland area.
US Senate: I don't care who the Republicans nominate, Jeff Merkley has more than earned a strong re-election!
Governor: Again, I don't care who the Republicans nominate, none of their candidates can match John Kitzhaber for his commitment and service to Oregon.
Oregon State House contested Democratic Primaries:
41st District: You have some good candidates to choose from, but my favorite is Deborah Barnes because of her long term commitment to the community.
42nd District: Again, several good candidates, and you would likely be well served by any of them. My favorite in the race is Teddy Keizer because of his history of working to organize in the community, and because I know his solid progressive views. I do appreciate Rob Nosse for campaigning on his support for single payer health care. Again, tough choices in that race.
44th District: Joe Rowe has the right stands on the issues, but is not running a serious campaign to win. Tina Kotek has distinguished herself by serving as Speaker of the House, and has done a great job of helping maintain and build a Democratic majority in the Oregon House. If you want to encourage her to take some more progressives stands on the issues you can vote for Joe, and then tell Tina why.
45th District: Another race where you would be well served by either candidate, but Tom Sincic is ready to be the strong progressive voice that district wants. The district that has sent Jackie Dingfelder and Michael Dembrow to the legislature should follow up with another strong progressive by sending Tom Sincic. Barbara Smith Warner is progressive as well, but she is not stepping up to be the strong progressive advocate on issues like single payer health care that Tom is willing to be.
50th District: This is actually an easy choice in the Primary, Democrats should pick Carla Piluso.
Multnomah County Chair: While Jim Francesconi is saying the right things, his track record in office is not nearly as solid as Deborah Kafoury's in sticking to commitments. I'm voting for Deborah Kafoury.
Multnomah County Commissioner District 1: While Brian Wilson has made a very good impression, I am supporting Jules Kopel Bailey. I know that Jules is fully capable, ready to serve and commitment to good progressive values.
Multnomah County Commissioner District 2: I know all four candidates and I don't agree with any reasons given to replace Loretta Smith. Loretta is the kind of person who works hard, but often works in the background outside of public view, and I know that she accomplishes a great deal at the County, which is why I am voting to re-elect her.
City of Portland Position 2: I say we shake things up by electing Sharon Maxwell. Arguments are made that she is not ready to serve, but neither were most other city councilors before they actually won election and were sworn in. Sharon will bring a new perspective and new direction to the council that is absent, and needs to be heard. She has worked with gang youth to get them out of gang life, and she built a construction business to hire local people in literally rebuilding areas of Portland in need.
City of Portland Position 3: I like Nick Caleb. Not just for his strong stand on improving minimum wage conditions for Portland residents, but his strong progressive views on other issues, and his willingness to bring fresh ideas to the council. I think the Portland City Council could use some shaking up, and this would be another good place to do that.
Metro: All Councilors up for election are uncontested. The Metro Chair position is contested. Jeremiah Johnson has a good commitment to bring important issues to the forefront at Metro, but I don't think he's really prepared to take on the role. Tom Hughes has done a good job and this vote really comes down to a vote of confidence in Tom. If you like how he has served, then vote to re-elect him, if you want to send a vote of no-confidence, then you can vote for Jeremiah.
Washington County: If you live in Washington County then you have an opportunity to make an historic change in the County Commission. Currently the balance on the Commission is 2 progressive Democrats and 3 libertarian Republicans. Greg Malinowski and Dick Schouten have provided the progressive opinions on the Commission, and have managed to have some influence in moving the Commission, but there are many times when a 3 to 2 balance the other way would make a huge difference in the outcome. Washington County voters should re-elect Greg Malinowski, vote to elect Allen Amabisca as Chair, can elect Elizabeth Furse to the District 4 seat.
Clackamas County: The incumbent Clackamas County Clerk should be replaced. There are three candidates running to replace her, but David Robinson would be the best choice. David has experience fixing difficult situations and running large operations in the Navy, and he could bring this experience to ensure that the Clackamas County Clerk's office is run well and with solid integrity.