The race for the House District 37 seat strikes us as being exactly as a political race should be: A contest between two highly intelligent, well-rounded, reasonable people.

Both candidates, we think, have the potential to represent West Linn, Lake Oswego and Tualatin well.

But we must pick one, and that one is Republican Scott Bruun.

Here's why: Bruun deserves a second opportunity.

In his first term, Bruun, we've heard, was easy to work with, sharp and always held his door open to those who hold different political views. He even, on a few occasions, stood in opposition to the party line. He also did good work - he helped expand criminal charges against methamphetamine manufacturers, and he helped extend unemployment benefits to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

We also applaud his work on limiting overtime for nurses, on expanding services available to veterans and on creating a tax credit for residents of manufactured homes who are evicted by their landlords.

Bruun's priorities for the next session are big - from eliminating the capital gains tax, to creating incentives to draw businesses to Oregon and implementing a state-wide sales tax - and his ambition seems to be a higher elected position someday.

Bruun's opponent, Bev Backa, a Democrat, impressed us as well with her ideas. She talked about technical fixes to lessen the tax burden on small businesses and changes that can realistically be made to improve the healthcare system. We like her well-rounded background: She has been a cattle rancher, a small business owner, and has negotiated contracts and rehauled programs with the Boys and Girls Aid Society of Oregon and at the Christie School.

We hope we see more of Backa in local politics.

But, for now, we'd like to give Bruun another shot, a chance to show us what we think he can do.

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