It's hard to generate enthusiasm for an election that has just a scattering of candidates and measures on the ballot, but Beaverton-area voters nonetheless have several decisions of consequence to make between now and 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Both Democratic and Republican voters in Oregon's 1st Congressional District still have time to influence a congressional race that will receive national attention when the field is narrowed to two major contenders for the Jan. 31 runoff.

The race to replace scandalized Congressman David Wu will be seen as a test of voter sentiment prior to the November 2012 election. As such, Republicans and Democrats should be motivated to put their best candidates forward - and the way to accomplish that is through broad voter participation.

There are also important issues to decide in Beaverton related to school funding and urban renewal. Below, we recap Pamplin Media Group's recommendations for the Nov. 8 election. However, the most important thing for voters is not to follow anyone's list of endorsements, but simply to take part in the democratic process - even if this isn't a time of full fall ballots or pitched partisan fury.

Our endorsements:

  • 1st Congressional District Republican primary: With a strong business background and an ability to appeal to independent voters, Rob Cornilles is the clear choice for Republicans in the race to replace Wu. Cornilles also has the advantage of being tested on the campaign trail when he ran against Wu in 2010. He will be a formidable contender for the GOP in January.

  • 1st Congressional District Democratic primary: This race offers a more difficult choice, but state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici has emerged as Democrats' best candidate. Bonamici, more than her two well-qualified opponents, has shown an ability to work across the aisle, which should be an asset when all voters - not just Democrats - make the final decision on Wu's replacement in January.

  • In Beaverton, Measure 34-192: We recommend a 'yes' vote. This measure would allow Beaverton to start the process of downtown redevelopment. The measure costs taxpayers virtually nothing, but it offers the prospect of creating the vibrant sort of city center that Beaverton residents want and deserve.

  • Also in the Beaverton area, Measure 34-193: This measure will provide some much-needed financial help to Beaverton schools and go directly to staffing and educational programs in classrooms. Voters should approve the proposal for a five-year, local option levy.

    Voters who still want to take part in the election should either mail their ballots by Friday, or take them to drop-off sites, including the Beaverton City Library, Cedar Mill Community Library, Garden Home Library and West Slope Community Library, before 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

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