Washington County has a tradition of sending moderate lawmakers to Salem like state Rep. Jeff Barker.

We like Barker's past bipartisan efforts and his moderate views. We recommend that Aloha voters return him to the Legislature for a third term in the House District 28 seat.

Barker, 63, is a retired Portland Police Bureau lieutenant who has worked hard in the Legislature to get beyond partisan politics and tackle tough issues.

Two examples of his work stand out. Barker helped lead the way to pass a state version of Jessica's Law, and he was named chairman of the House Judicial Committee's Subcommittee on Criminal Law, one of two Democrats to get leadership posts last session in the Republican-controlled House.

Barker's Republican opponent, Eldon Derville-Teer, is a 37-year-old former television sports producer who owns a Newberg coffee shop and works as an industrial tool and supply salesman.

Derville-Teer said early this year that he didn't plan to raise or spend more than $2,000 on the race. He has made few public appearances and doesn't seem to be running a vigorous campaign. He would focus on illegal immigration and protect public safety in the state budget as his top legislative priorities.

Barker is a likable man with a quiet demeanor who understands the district that stretches from Highway 217 to Southwest 209th Avenue in the west.

He says his focus is on solving problems and tough issues rather than engaging across-the-aisle sniping with other state legislators. If re-elected, Barker says he will work to create a stable tax system that provides adequate money for public schools and meets other state needs, like better roads, all-day kindergarten for children, Head Start and improved health care.

Barker also favors putting money aside in a state rainy day fund. We believe that all of these issues are important and that Barker would do the best job representing local voters and advocating for these changes in Salem.

We urge Aloha voters to re-elect Barker in the House District 28 race.

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