2018 Candidate Endorsements
With its candidate endorsements, the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce has worked to be fair-minded, supporting leadership qualities over individual positioning. Over the years, we have earned the reputation of a chamber which will endorse candidates from across the political spectrum when they show the stronger personal and professional attributes and the all-too-rare willingness and ability to set aside dogma and work with those with divergent views.
Our Candidate Endorsement Team is made up of members who are representative of the demographics of our chamber’s membership. Each is selected due to their political expertise and some have experience in local and/or State government, which lends to a broader understanding of process which helps this committee to make better, more informed decisions. No endorsement is final until thoroughly vetted and voted on by our Board of Directors.
In our thorough process of interviewing and evaluating candidates we stay true to our business platform in supporting candidates that are pro-business and who will take seriously the decisions they make on legislative issues that will effect business in Clackamas County and in our State.
Senate District 26: Incumbent Chuck Thomsen -vs- Chrissy Reitz
Chuck Thomsen has been a reliable advocate of Chamber issues for his first two terms in office, and we are pleased to endorse him for a third. He is a staunch supporter of small business and has always fought to keep taxes low. His friendly and firm approach to legislation produces win-win outcomes for North Clackamas and voters should send him back for another term.
House District 51: Incumbent Janelle Bynum -vs- Lori Chavez-DeRemer
As Mayor of Happy Valley, Lori Chavez-DeRemer has a proven track record of hard work, common sense and providing certainty for small businesses. Her collaborative approach has always included the Chamber’s priorities and we expect that to continue in the Legislature. The incumbent Janelle Bynum’s votes have not reflected the Chamber’s business-friendly priorities by her support of minimum wage hikes, paid sick time and predictive scheduling.
Lori Chavez-DeRemer has earned our endorsement.
Senate District 20: Incumbent Alan Olsen -vs- Charles Gallia
Alan Olsen has an uncanny ability to distill complex legislative mechanisms into plain talk that anyone can understand. He has been a frequent speaker on legislative issues to our Chamber’s membership and proven himself to be an accessible and considerate lawmaker. While many legislators find themselves tangled up in proliferating details while crafting legislation, Alan has a refreshing knack for challenging whether those details reconcile with the legislation’s intent. He brings a common-sense perspective to a sometimes chaotic and runaway process. We met his opponent Charles Gallia two years ago when he challenged Representative Bill Kennemer for his seat in the House. We feel compelled to note that Gallia has evolved tremendously as a candidate since then and demonstrated an impressive comprehension of public policy. Ultimately, Alan Olsen has a proven track record collaborating with the chamber and aligns with our values and priorities on every relevant issue, which has earned him this Chamber’s endorsement.
House District 39: Christine Drazen -vs- E. Graser-Lindsey
For a first-time candidate, Christine Drazen has a rare comprehension of complex policy. She demonstrates a sincere understanding of the needs of the district and is genuine in her desire to serve as a means of giving back to the community. Her experience working in the Speaker’s office also gives her a leg-up in understanding the political dynamic of Salem and how to navigate partisan divides.
Voters should elect Christine Drazen, who has earned this Chamber’s endorsement.
House District 40: Incumbent Mark Meek -vs- Josh Hill
Congressional District 5: Incumbent Kurt Schrader -vs- Mark Callahan
Skyrocketing partisanship in Washington DC has elevated the importance of moderates on all sides of the aisle. Kurt Schrader exemplifies this rare, common sense role without abandoning his party’s core principles. He has provided leadership in helping to alleviate sea lion predation in our rivers and has been a staunch advocate for federal funds for local transportation infrastructure. He is fair, candid, honest and accessible.
Kurt Schrader has earned this Chamber’s endorsement.
Metro Councilor – Position 2: Joe Buck -vs- Christine Lewis
Lake Oswego City Counselor Joe Buck’s experience as a business owner and elected official offers voters an opportunity to moderate Metro’s Portland-centric values. We were impressed when he stated that “the notion that the UGB is not contributing to the housing crisis is ludicrous” and that he holds the longest and most diverse list of bipartisan endorsements we have seen from a candidate this cycle. Christine Lewis also impressed us with her thoughtful approach and collaborative tenor. She proved herself to be the most fluent in policy issues of any of the candidates we spoke with, but her focus on expanding Metro’s mission and being relatively new to campaigns tipped the scales toward Joe Buck.
Joe Buck’s background, skills and approach offer voters the most balanced and thoughtful option and we hope you will vote for him with this Chamber’s endorsement.
Approved by the North Clackamas Chamber Board of Directors on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.