Four Portland-area Democratic candidates for the Oregon House of Representatives stand out as having the necessary skills and experience to earn voters' support in the Nov. 7 general election.

House District 33: Mitch Greenlick

Mitch Greenlick, who has served ably for two terms in the House, is a nationally recognized health-care expert. Since health-care access and affordability are near the top of voters' concerns, Greenlick's knowledge will continue to be invaluable in Salem.

Greenlick has served general constituent interests well in his west Portland district. His Republican opponent, Mark Eggleston, is running a barely audible campaign. Voters should re-elect Greenlick.

House District 44: Tina Kotek

Tina Kotek and Republican Jay Kushner are vying for an open seat formerly held by Gary Hansen. While Kushner is well-versed on the issues and has a solid business background, he cannot match Kotek's knowledge of the legislative process or her community-service record.

Kotek, who has been a policy advocate for Children First for Oregon and the Oregon Food Bank, is a good political fit for this North Portland district.

House District 45: Jackie Dingfelder

Jackie Dingfelder is a three-term state representative whose legislative passions - education, health care, environmental matters and consumer protection - also happen to reflect the priorities of her Northeast Portland district.

Her opponent, Dick Osborne, is the chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party, but he has little public-service experience beyond party activities. Dingfelder has proved to be a flexible partner willing to work with legislators from both parties. Voters should award her with another term.

House District 46: Ben Cannon

The House District 46 race includes three candidates attempting to replace Rep. Steve March, who chose not to run for re-election. Democrat Ben Cannon, a private middle-school teacher, emerges as the best choice.

The 30-year-old Cannon is knowledgeable, and his efforts to get young people involved with the political process are impressive. Republican William Cornett and Pacific Party candidate Paul Loney also are running. But it is Cannon who appears to be the best match for this mostly Southeast Portland district.

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