Chris Garrett took hold of the Democratic nomination for House District 38 Tuesday, defeating Lake Oswego School Board Chair Linda Brown to represent Lake Oswego and Southwest Portland in Salem.
The race between Garrett, a Perkins Coie attorney, and Brown, a member of the Lake Oswego School Board since 2001, represented the first state campaigns for both candidates.
Garrett emerged on top with a 1,000-vote edge in Multnomah County putting him ahead. Garrett earned 53 percent of the vote to Brown's 46 percent. He will face Republican Stephen Griffith in the general election in November. Griffith, a teacher and former Portland School Board member, was unopposed in the Republican primary.
The winner in that race will fill the shoes of longtime state Rep. Greg Macpherson, Lake Oswego, who left the position to campaign for Oregon Attorney General. Macpherson lost the race to Lewis and Clark law professor John Kroger.
Garrett celebrated his campaign's victory at Fivespice Restaurant in Lake View Village Tuesday night, surrounded by friends and volunteers.
He credited the large group of volunteers and their dynamic grassroots campaign for helping him take the lead.
'I am gratified and humbled to have a won this election against a very talented and tough competitor in Linda Brown,' he said. 'Linda has served this community with distinction and deserves gratitude for her hard work and for joining me in running a clean, positive, issues-based campaign.'
Brown said Wednesday she was not inclined to seek higher office again soon but did not rule out a future career in politics.
The education champion is popular in local circles and drew a majority of support in Clackamas County, with 53 percent of voters supporting her as the Democratic nominee.
She has one year remaining on the Lake Oswego School Board and is also a member of the board of directors at the Lakewood Center for the Arts.
In the short term, she said, 'I'm not looking for things to keep me busy.'
Garrett planned a short break before the general election to recharge for the race and give his network of supporters a hard-earned break.
He will continue a platform that puts health care, education and the environment at the top of the priority list.
He also wants revenue reform for Oregon and a renewed commitment to Oregon's culture as a green state. Fresh thinking, Garrett has said, will revive solid but struggling programs like the Oregon Health Plan.
Garrett offers voters a familiar mix of legal expertise and the state-level contacts that were hallmarks of service for Macpherson.
He is a native of the house district, born and raised in Southwest Portland, with significant ties to Salem.
He is a former senior policy adviser to Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and also worked as a legislative assistant to state Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin.