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Tigard resident to challenge Margaret Doherty for Distirict 35 seat

Tigard resident John Goodhouse has announced that he will run for the Oregon Legislature in 2012 to challenge incumbent Margaret Doherty, a Democrat.

Goodhouse, who unsuccessfully ran for Tigard City Council last year, said Tuesday that he will run for Oregon District 35.

'I was going to run for the City Council again,' Goodhouse told The Times on Tuesday. 'But I saw there was an opening here (for District 35) and felt that I could do a lot more for the state and the area than I could being on the Tigard City Council.'

A lifelong Tigard resident, Goodhouse works as a financial representative for Country Financial in Tualatin and is the only Republican candidate to announce a run for District 35.

Aside from his failed run for City Council, Goodhouse has never held or run for public office. He currently serves on several committees through the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, including the government affairs council and the economic development task force.

Goodhouse said the Tigard area needs a representative in Salem who can help small businesses grow and put people back to work. He said he also wants to focus on improving innovation and accountability in public schools.

'I think a lot more attention needs to be focused on our schools,' said Goodhouse, a parent of three children in the Tigard-Tualatin School District. 'As a parent, I see more and more fees in schools and less and less services. I want to bring it back to the way it was when I was in school. There were a lot more extracurricular activities, and I want to bring the focus back to education and teaching our kids.'

Doherty, who currently represents the 35th District, is a retired teacher. She filed to run for re-election last week.

Doherty said the current crisis with education funding is nothing new. As a teacher at Milwaukie High School, Doherty was laid off more than once because of lack of district funds, she said.

'There are more and more demands on education, unfortunately the dollar just is not stretching as far as it used to.'

Doherty was appointed to the Oregon Legislature in 2009 to fill the remainder of Larry Galizio's term after he accepted a job with the Oregon University System. She was elected outright in 2010.

Since taking office, Doherty has co-sponsored more than 120 bills and currently serves as co-chair of the House Business and Labor Committee. She also serves on the House Health Care Committee.

District 35 serves Tigard and Metzger, as well as portions of Southwest Portland and Garden Home.

Goodhouse said he would officially file for the November 2012 election later this week.

Candidates have until March to file for the May 15 primary election. The winners of the primary will then run in a November 2012 general election.