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Incumbent earns his bipartisan stripes

State Rep. Jeff Barker of Aloha says he is a prime example that bipartisanship works in Salem.

Barker, a Democrat seeking his third term in the Washington County's House District 28 seat, is one of only two Democrats in the Republican-controlled House in 2005 to lead a subcommittee.

He earned the Republican leadership's respect, Barker said, by being open, honest and avoiding petty disputes.

'I'm not into the real petty stuff,' said Barker, a 63-year-old retired Portland Police Bureau lieutenant.

'The suburban districts are much more moderate than Portland, so the people who represent them have to be more moderate.'

Republican Eldon Derville-Teer, 37, of Aloha, is challenging Barker in the race. Derville-Teer owns a coffee shop in Newberg, is a salesman for an industrial tool company and has worked in television sports production.

His priorities in the Legislature would be comprehensive immigration reform and putting more money into the criminal justice system.

(Derville-Teer skipped a scheduled interview with the Valley Times.)

House District 28 stretches along the Tualatin Valley Highway from Southwest Lombard Avenue east to 209th Avenue and south to Gassner Road.

Barker has raised about $16,000 in the campaign. Derville-Teer has pledged to not raise or spend more than $2,000 in the race.

Barker said his bipartisan efforts led House Speaker Karen Minnis to make him chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on criminal law. He also has worked across party lines to get approval of an Oregon version of Jessica's Law.

He also was able to convince enough Republicans to go along in his first term with a bill giving rape victims emergency day-after contraceptive. The bill took a lot of lobbying, but it passed because Barker pushed for the victims.

'It wasn't about me,' Barker said. 'I wanted to move this bill out. I cared more about the rape victims than the politics.'

If he is re-elected, Barker hopes to promote stable funding for schools and a stable tax system for the state's general fund budget, work on expanding health care to the uninsured and continue pushing for tougher drunk driving penalties.