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Macpherson decision may hurt LO, aid state

Quality legislator would be a very strong candidate for Oregon's Attorney General

The nice guy that is Greg Macpherson shone through on Tuesday.

Eager to get the word out that he was jumping into the race to run for Oregon's Attorney General, Macpherson chose not to rain on the announcement Tuesday by incumbent AG Hardy Myers that he would not be seeking a fourth term.

Out of deference to Myers, Macpherson, a Democrat member of the Oregon House of Representatives from Lake Oswego, wanted to hold off on his announcement until Wednesday.

That's the kind of gentleman Macpherson is and he has demonstrated that kind of quality time and time again through his years in the Legislature. He has been a strong, effective leader and Lake Oswego has been blessed to have him in office.

Thus, it's bittersweet to hear of his decision to depart the House and set his sights on becoming the chief lawyer for Oregon. What could be Oregon's gain - and that would be the case if Macpherson is elected - would also translate into Lake Oswego's loss. He has advocated well on behalf of his local constituents, has a strong legal mind and is a levelheaded legislator.

Myers' announcement Tuesday that he was not running in 2008 for a fourth term was not altogether unexpected. At age 67, he noted his department deserved leadership with fresh ideas. He said that his age was indeed one of the key reasons behind his decision.

Macpherson is considerably younger - 10 years to be exact. A third-generation Oregonian, both his father and grandfather served in the Oregon Legislature. He currently is serving his third term as a legislator.

He's an employee benefits attorney with the Portland law firm of Stoel Rives. And he's been a strong advocate for schools, PERS reform and Lake Oswego.

So far - admittedly it's early in the process - two names have surfaced as possible replacements for Myers. Macpherson's immediate competition seems to be John Kroger, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Lewis and Clark Law School.

Leading the Oregon Department of Justice might not be everyone's cup of tea. Apparently, it is Macpherson's. And while we hate the idea of losing his genteel nature, creative mind and craftsman-like abilities as our representative, there's no denying that putting him to work in the attorney general's office is something we can collectively be excited about.

A legislator, a lawyer and a gentleman: Perhaps, the next notch on his résumé will carry the letters AG. He would make a strong addition to the office and we would have complete faith in his abilities.

Macpherson for attorney general?

You betcha.