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Aloha activist files for far-reaching legislative post

The “mayor” of Aloha is setting his sights on the horizon.

Eric Squires — a longtime advocate for the Aloha area — has filed to run for Oregon’s House District 26.

The far-reaching house seat stretches from the Aloha and Reedville area south through unincorporated Washington County and into Bull Mountain, King City, Sherwood and Wilsonville.

Squires is the only Democrat on the ticket for the May primary, moving him along to the general election where he will take on Republican incumbent John Davis. Squires

Squires, 46, has spent years working to improve the Aloha community. He played a role in opening the Aloha Community Library, helped found the Aloha Historical Society and served as chairman of Aloha’s Citizen Participation Organization for seven years before resigning in October.

Squires was elected president of the Washington County Public Affairs Forum in 2013.

Squires said his No. 1 reason for running for public office was to provide voters with a choice.

“There was no one running against Davis until I filed, and now the voters have a choice,” he said. Davis

Squires opposes House Bill 4078, a bill passed into law this year that expanded the urban growth boundary and established new urban and rural reserves in the county.

That bill was sponsored by Davis, and Squires said it wasn’t well received in rural Washington County. “It triggered a lot of consternation among folks that shepherd land-use issues,” he said.

Davis said running for the Oregon House was “the right thing to do.”

“I think a democratic choice is needed in this district,” he said.

Squires has had two unsuccessful runs for public office in the past.

He challenged Roy Rogers for Washington County commissioner in 2008 and ran for a board position with the Tualatin Valley Water District in 2011.

His volunteer work in the community is extensive, but Squires said it will take more than a vision for Aloha to handle the far-reaching district.

“You will have all the annexation issues of Reedville, a sliver of Bull Mountain and almost all of King City, which is a completely different animal,” Squires said. “And there is this new exploding city called Sherwood that is totally different than the Sherwood I knew 20 years ago, and Wilsonville, which is a jobs’ monster.”

Despite the wide range of issues, Squires said there is one over-arching theme at play: growth.

“The long-term issue for this district will largely be growth,” he said.

Squires cites his work with the Aloha Community Library as work he can do in the Oregon House.

“My background in Aloha leads me to suggest any help I can lend toward libraries. What I got done in the Aloha library is job creation,” he said.

The library currently has two employees. Squires admitted that’s not a lot, but it’s a start.

“That’s more than most of the politicians, who are talking about creating jobs, have done,” he said. “That number may not be big, but it’s bigger than anybody else I’ve been talking to.”

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