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Hosticka, Parrish face off in swing district race

Both say Legislature should focus on rebuilding economy

Metro Councilor Carl Hosticka wants to be the first Democrat to represent House District 37 in nearly a decade.

Hosticka, who has represented the southern part of the Portland area on the Metro Council, is running in the May primary election for a chance to challenge incumbent state Rep. Julie Parrish, a West Linn Republican.

Both Hosticka and Parrish are unopposed in their parties' May 15 primary election.

'The style that they've been operating under, the gridlock down in Salem, I think that they're not able to actually take the kind of action needed at this point to try to restore the economy and bring the state forward,' Hosticka said.

The Tualatin resident served in the Oregon House from 1983 to 1994 before jumping to the Metro Council.

The House district includes parts of tualatin, King City, West Linn, Durham and the Stafford area. Hosticka considers it a swing district.

Parrish, who just finished her freshman term, sees herself as a moderate who represents the district's diverse needs.

'I tend to be a middle of the road, down-to-earth kind of person,' Parrish said. 'I tell it like it is...and I don't think we have to agree on everything.'

Parrish talked and walked her way into the House District 37 seat in 2010 with no prior political experience but a determination to do something about her frustrations with state politics.

'In three and a half months, I knocked on over 5,000 doors, made over 2,000 phone calls,' she said.

'This time I have eight months. I'm going to work as hard as I can to let neighbors know I'm going to continue to be committed to them. I'm excited for this.'

A big concern for Hosticka is looking into the state's rainy day fund and reforming Oregon's kicker law (which rebates income taxes if the state takes in more revenue than it expects).

'To a large extent, it's some of the same issues: investing in education, in transportation, in our communities, and we've seen a lack of that over the last 20 years,' Hosticka said. 'In fact, education investments have gone down, transportation investments have gone down. I think we need to restore it.'

Parrish is interested in continuing conversations on education so 'schools aren't being strangled on cost,' as well as on job creation and control of government spending.

'Nonprofits are getting change under the couch cushions. We're saying we don't have the money; we do have the money, it's how we spend the money that matters,' Parrish said.