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Rep. John Davis will not seek re-election, higher office

Davis said he will not run for attorney general, as speculated

No matter how this fall’s election turns out, when legislators return to Salem in 2017, they’ll be doing it with a new state representative for Sherwood, Bull Mountain and King City. SUBMITTED PHOTO - Oregon Rep. John Davis announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election to the legislative seat he has held since 2013.

Rep. John Davis, R-Wilsonville, announced last week that he will not seek re-election to the legislative seat he has held since 2013.

Davis — who represents Wilsonville, Sherwood, Bull Mountain, King City and parts of Hillsboro, Beaverton and Aloha in Oregon’s District 26 — made the announcement on the last day of the 2016 Legislative session.

Davis said that he has loved his time in Salem.

“It is the best job I’ve ever had,” Davis said. “It is a joy to serve constituents and work together with Democrats and Republicans to negotiate legislation.”

At the time of his announcement, Davis said he was leaving Salem in order to spend more time with his family and his law practice, but Davis told The Times’ Salem correspondent that he was considering a run for Oregon’s Attorney General, the state’s chief legal officer, heading the Oregon Department of Justice. By Monday, Davis said he had opted not to run.

“After months of careful consideration and counsel from friends, family, fellow representatives, former statewide candidates, my law firm, and attorneys general from other states, the timing is simply not right,” Davis said in a statement on Monday.

Davis didn’t rule out future runs for the statewide office.

“For the sake of Oregonians and our political process, a well-qualified candidate with time, resources, support, and experience should run against (Oregon Attorney General Ellen) Rosenblum,” Davis added. “But this year, at this time, that person is not me.”

King City Republican to run for Davis’ seat

Davis’ seat has proven to be hotly contested, with three Republicans and two Democrats filing to fill it.

Minutes after Davis announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election, a King City lawyer threw his hat into the ring to replace him.

John Boylston is making his first run at public office with the race, but said he has thought about running for years.

“I love this state. I love our potential, we have awesome potential,” Boylston told The Times on Tuesday. “But we have been falling short in few key areas. If we are such a progressive state, how can we be doing so badly at education? We have to improve our schools.”

Boylston’s other priorities are to improving the middle class, and protections for the elderly.

“I’ve heard so many stories of people getting taken advantage of,” said Boylston, an estate planning attorney with Myatt & Bell in Tigard. “We need to help Oregonians a little better. We have to get elder financial abuse laws because we are not doing enough to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

Boylston currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Oregon Historical Society and on the Board of HispanicPros, an organization that helps connect Hispanic professionals, with the Oregon business community. He co-founded Emerging Leaders of Oregon with Davis.

“When John decided to step down, I thought that this was a good chance for me to throw my hat into the ring,” Boylston said.

Boylston lived in downtown Portland until a few months ago when he moved to King City. Despite his relatively recent arrival to the area, Boylston said he understands District 26.

“I’m 10 miles away from where I grew up,” Boylston said. “I’m familiar with the Southwest suburbs. This district is awesome. It’s a microcosm for the state. Have urban areas, rural, residential, commercial industrial, agricultural. We have all the same land use issues that Oregon has to work out.”

Boylston has already received Davis’ endorsement, who said that he was the right man to take on the job.

“John is a friend and someone we can trust to put the public interest first,” Davis wrote. “He’s the right fit for House District 26 and will represent all residents. He brings energy, experience, and a thoughtful approach. He cares deeply about Oregon, our education system and creating jobs. He will look at old issues in new ways.”

Other candidates seeking the seat include former state Rep. Matt Wingard and Armand Vial, of Hillsboro, running as Republicans.

Patrick Whewell and Ray Lister, both of Wilsonville, are running in the Democratic race.

Paris Achen of the Capital Bureau contributed to this story