Our Opinion

Voters in North and Northeast Portland have a pleasant choice in the Nov. 2 election when it comes to deciding between two qualified and articulate candidates to represent them on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.

Voters in commissioner District 2 cannot go wrong with either Loretta Smith or Karol Collymore - both of whom are seeking to replace Commissioner Jeff Cogen, who moved into the county chair's position. Considering the relative strength of both candidates, we think Smith emerges as the person most ready to represent the community she has been deeply connected with for the past two decades.

Smith has worked for Ron Wyden - both when he was a U.S. representative and more recently when he's been a U.S. senator - since 1989. Her experience in making connections between local, state and federal governments will serve her well as a leader for a county government that is dependent on such relationships for funding and successful partnerships.

A single mother, Smith has deep roots in - and an understanding of - the North and Northeast Portland communities within the boundaries of District 2. Her longevity in the district stands in contrast to Collymore, a fairly new arrival from New Mexico who has nonetheless made a significant mark in Portland in a variety of professional, volunteer and community capacities.

Collymore, who most recently has been a policy adviser for Cogen, has a promising political career ahead of her. For now, voters in District 2 should support Loretta Smith for county commissioner.

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