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Carlson to face Barker in House District 28
Sheri Malstrom is a shoo-in to take over Tobias Read's seat in District 27
Gary M. Carlson easily captured the Republican nomination in his bid to become the state representative in District 28 serving much of Aloha and part of southwestern Beaverton.
But Carlson's challenge will be far tougher in November, when he takes on Democratic incumbent Jeff Barker, who has ruled the district since 2003.
In unofficial returns released Wednesday morning, Carlson had collected more than two-thirds of the votes from Republicans who made a choice in the race. He was far outpacing fellow Republicans Daniel Martin (thoe choice of 19.5 percent of voters participating in this race) and Alton R. Mozingo II (11.7 percent). About a third of eligible Republican voters didn't choose any candidate in this race.
Carlson was the only one of the three Republicans to publish a statement in the Voters' Pamphlet and appear at major candidate forums.
Barker, a former police officer, did not have a primary election opponent but easily defeated his last Republican challenger in 2012. No Republican took on Barker in 2014.
Carlson, an attorney, said he was happy with the primary results but knows that beating an incumbent is a far greater challenge. He plans to campaign on a pledge to help remove what he considers too much government regulation stifling economic activity.
"Basically, my approach is weeding the garden of obstacles," he said.
In neighboring District 27, Democrat Sheri Malstrom is all but assured of taking over for Tobias Read, who vacated the seat to run for state treasurer.
Malstrom won over 64.3 percent of the Democrats in early returns.
Darin Campbell also was on the ballot but garnered just 8.4 percent of the total votes counted in early returns, with more than a quarter of Democratic voters not choosing either candidate. Malstrom's margin was more than 4,000 votes by Tuesday night.
Campbell decided early not to actively campaign for the seat, which represents an area stretching from south Beaverton through Raleigh Hills and into Portland's West Hills.
There are no Republicans or Independents running for District 27, effectively giving Malstrom a free ride in November.
Read, meanwhile, was the only Democrat running for state treasurer. He will face Republican Jeff Gudman and Independent Chris Telfer in November.