Garrett takes House District 38 post
The gentlemanly race for House District 38 - serving Lake Oswego and portions of Southwest Portland - appears to be in the history books.
Democrat Chris Garrett jumped out to an early lead over Republican Stephen Griffith in all three counties that make up the district.
Shortly after the polls closed Tuesday evening, unofficial results were moving in Garrett's favor. And the picture seemed even clearer with updated results Wednesday morning
In Clackamas County, Garrett was leading with 7,832 votes (61 percent) to 4,965 (39 percent) for Griffith.
In Multnomah County, Garrett had 4,336 votes (73 percent) to 1,592 (27 percent) for Griffith.
And in Washington County, Garrett had 44 votes (57 percent) compared to 33 (42 percent) for Griffith.
While Garrett was pleased with the returns showcasing his lead, he wasn't ready to claim victory late Tuesday evening.
'The numbers have been slow' in being released by county election offices, he noted.
'Still, to have that kind of lead in Clackamas County … is very very encouraging' he said. 'It makes us feel confident.'
The race to replace Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego (himself an attorney), pitted two attorneys: Garrett of Lake Oswego and Griffith of Portland. Garrett defeated Lake Oswego School Board member Linda Brown in the May primary.
Unlike the presidential race and several of Oregon's high-profile political races, both Garrett and Griffith ran clean and relatively quiet campaigns.
In fact, both candidates complimented the other on the tone and quality of the campaign.
'I think he's someone I like and respect very much,' said Garrett.
There was plenty of 'negative campaigning in other races' and there wasn't even a voice raised in anger in this one, said Garrett. 'He's a very honorable guy.'
'First of all, I want to congratulate Chris on running a clean campaign based on the issues,' Griffith said. It was a 'great exception to the rule that politics is a dirty business.'
Griffith, who plans to run again in two years, said he 'greatly enjoyed the process of running for the House of Representatives.'
He noted that as a candidate, 'my dream was to remain true to myself and to my constituents.'
He feels he accomplished that while knocking on doors throughout the district, focusing on issues such as a 'quest for excellent education,' sustainable economy, accessible healthcare and 'to have a government we can be proud of.'
Looking to the future, Griffith said he thinks it might be a challenge for the incoming Legislature to put people ahead of party and get good laws passed.
'Personally, I can't wait to begin canvassing again,' he added.
Garrett is a newcomer to Lake Oswego and is an attorney with the law firm Perkins Coie LLP in Portland. He previously served as a policy adviser to Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and state Sen. Richard Devlin. He lives in the First Addition neighborhood of Lake Oswego. His campaign held an election night party at FiveSpice Bistro in downtown Lake Oswego.
Griffith, a long-time Portland resident, is an attorney with Stoel Rives LLP and a former member and four times chair of the Portland School Board. He held a campaign party from his home in Southwest Portland.