HD-31: Another open seat (updated)

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

With Rep. Brad Witt's run for Congress, we now have our second open legislative seat for the 2012 election cycle.

The district includes the entirety of Columbia County, including its Highway 30 population centers Scappoose, St. Helens, Rainier, and Clatskanie - as well as Vernonia. It dips down into some of the rural Washington County turf north of Highway 26 (and outside the UGB.) It picks up a small chunk of Multnomah County that runs along Skyline Boulevard and Highway 30. It includes both the Multnomah and Columbia county portions of Sauvie Island. (Map here.)

That makes the district somewhat different than the district Brad Witt has served since 2005. Before, the district included most of Columbia County, including all the population centers - but ran all the way out along Highway 30 to take in Astoria. It didn't include any of Washington County or Multnomah County, except the southern portion of Sauvie Island. The entirety of Clatsop County, including Astoria, is now in HD-32 - currently represented by Rep. Debbie Boone (D-Cannon Beach).

Do you live in the district? Whether you do or not, what sort of candidate are you hoping runs?

Update: Willamette Week reports that Paul Evans, the former mayor of Monmouth, is now a Scappoose resident - and considering a run for the seat.

That relocation is related to his work for High Impact Technologies, which is negotiating with the Port of St. Helens to establish a boat-manufacturing facility.

Evans says he spent a lot of time in Witt's district while working for Kulongoski on issues related to the devastating 2007 Vernonia flood. ...

Evans says he's been so busy with work that he has not fully decided to enter the House race but will announce his plans "soon."

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    Paul would make a great candidate for this position. In addition to his work for the Governor, he has been employed by HIT since he left his government job and has been working on getting the boat business implemented for much of the last year. This will be a big deal for this district. Paul's military and rural background should be a good fit with the voters in this district in spite of the fact that he is relatively new to Scappoose.

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    Agreed that Paul would be a great representative for the district.

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    (1) I’d be interested in party registration numbers for both the current and redistricted HD -31. What are they (or where can I find them)?

    (2) I’m not a Paul Evans enthusiast. As I understand it, he advised Gov. Kulongoski on veterans, military and national security matters. He did not, to my knowledge, and despite email urgings, advocate for more Mandarin or study abroad in China programs as a national security priority in Oregon. He may be personable and electable but I’m not sure he understands current and future economic and geopolitical issues.

    (3) So, who else is there?

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      Dave, we are talking about a state rep, not State Department rep.

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        I’m too old (68) and lack the energy to run for office.

        I think public officials have public records by which they can be evaluated. I certainly think Evans’ record relating to the rise of China is as important and relevant to our collective futures as Hales’ recent living arrangements. I also think that former Gov. Kulongoski’s failure to do anything to increase Mandarin education programs in Oregon will be seen as a significant black mark by future historians.

        The education system in Oregon is a state issue. And, as I’ve been writing since 2006, here), “the most significant and substantial action the Oregon 74th Legislative Assembly could take for world peace is to fund dramatic increases in Mandarin language and study abroad in China programs for Oregon students. It should be on every progressive’s legislative agenda.” I do not think Evans shares or shared that view.

        I do know that there are lots of other important issues. I'm just adding my outlook to the conversation.

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          I do not think Evans shares or shared that view.

          I have no idea if he does or doesn't.

          But as the Governor's advisor on veteran's issues and his liaison to the National Guard, I'm pretty sure that education policy wasn't in his bailiwick. (And you and I have no idea what he may or may not have advised the Governor on privately. Keeping your mouth shut in public is part of the job description when you're advising the Governor.)

          In my experience, Paul is a guy who is willing to chat with anyone about anything. I suggest contacting him directly. As a legislator, he would be in an entirely different role than any he's been in before.

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            I don't want to overdo this criticism of Evans, who I don't know personally, and who might make a great legislator. And, as you say, keeping your mouth shut is an important part of serving the governor. But my recollection is that I emailed him on these issues a number of times asking for his help and received no reply (I do recognized there can be lots of possible reasons for this).

            The issue of "bailiwicks" is an interesting problem. There can be significant gaps. Educators care little for national security or economic development or international trade issues unless someone important who knows and cares about these issues makes the case. Evans may have been in a position to do that. Who else in Gov. K's office could have? (Who in the Governor's office now does?).

            Evans can, of course, now speak for himself.

            Let me add that I also regularly emailed the leadership of the Oregon National Guard for help with the same non-response. So, from my perspective, Gov. Kulongoski's national security team (if I can even call it that) let him and Oregon down.

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      You should consider running for school board or state leg if this matters so much to you

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    Paul Evans did much more than advise Kulo on vets. For one, he served in Afghanistan (and Iraq?) at least 4 times. In fact, he left his campaign for state senate 2 weeks before the end of the campaign in 2008 (06?) to report to Afghanistan as a trainer for American troops. As Kulo's vets adviser, Paul led the effort that secured passage of a major package of bills for Oregon's vets in the 2009 session. He understands the district, as a former mayor. And he is a helluva guy. I'm pretty sure I won't agree with him on a number of issues, but I know he'd be a damn good State Rep for that district. I'd love to see him run.

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    From what I'm reading here it sounds like we have a great candidate considering a run for a pretty important seat. That's good right?

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