The fall race for the open District 4 Metro seat is largely a rerun of the spring contest. Kathryn Harrington and Tom Cox were the best of the four candidates who ran hard for the office and voters rightly sent them onto the Nov. 7 runoff.
We picked Harrington in May and still think she's the best fit for the regional panel that shapes decisions on growth management, natural habitat protections, transportation investments, solid waste, open spaces and runs the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Convention Center.
Harrington has a long resume of civic involvement in the county, including service in community organizations, transportation planning committees and the county's road project advisory committee.
For the past half year, Harrington has campaigned tirelessly for this seat listening to local government leaders and finding out what regional issues (growth, traffic) are most important to Washington County residents. Those experiences will help her connect the communities and Metro - a link that has often failed in recent years.
Cox, a former Libertarian candidate governor and state legislator, now directs a message of smaller, less intrusive government and a call for more trust and honesty at Metro. Cox is a tempting choice. He's bright, well spoken and, at times, entertainingly brash. Unlike other 'change agent' candiates, Cox took the time to come up with alternatives to the status quo, many of which warrant further study. If you're looking for someone to challenge assumptions and shake up Metro, he's your man.
We're sticking with Harrington, who we believe will be more effective in providing a bridge between local communities and the regional government that is supposed to serve them.