Beaverton area voters in state Senate District 17 are in the rare position of being able to select one of the Legislature's brightest contributors, Brad Avakian, to replace retiring Sen. Charlie Ringo.

We urge them to support Democrat Avakian in the Nov. 7 general election. Avakian's budget-wrangling experience, focus on important issues and drive to tackle real problems makes him hands-down the best candidate for the position.

Avakian, 45, is a civil rights attorney who has represented House District 34 for two terms. He decided to jump into the Senate race when Ringo announced his retirement in mid-January.

Avakian was one of the few candidates who did not have opposition from either party in the May primary election. Since then, Washington County Republicans have mounted a write-in campaign and nominated Piotr Kuklinski, a physician and 53-year-old Polish political refugee who has a hockey player's vigor and plenty of opinions, but few concrete solutions to the state's problems.

Avakian is clearly the most knowledgeable and best-prepared candidate for the Senate position. His experience in the House on the budget-writing Joint Legislative Ways and Means Committee will translate very well in his move to the Senate.

Voters should elect Brad Avakian to state Senate District 17 on the Nov. 7 ballot.

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