Activist will replace state Rep. Ben Cannon in SE Portland post

Multnomah County commissioners chose Alissa Keny-Guyer Tuesday morning to fill Southeast Portland's House District 46 seat being vacated by state Rep. Ben Cannon.

Commissioners voted to select Keny-Guyer during a special meeting in which each candidate was allowed to give presentations and answer questions. She must also seek election to the position next year.

Cannon resigned in mid-August to become Gov. John Kitzhaber's top education adviser. Cannon's term ends in January 2012. His district extends southeast from the Laurelhurst area to the Mount Scott neighborhood and east to Interstate 205. Its northern border is the Banfield Freeway.

Two other candidates - attorney Rob Milesnick (who received one vote) and teacher Trisha Parks - presented their cases Tuesday morning to commissioners.

Keny-Guyer said she was honored by the appointment.

'It's been a really intense last five weeks,' she told commissioners. 'I know I have a long way to go to work with many of you who have been involved in this process. We have a lot on the plate in the February Legislature. I hope we can all rally together to make Oregon a better place for all Oregonians, the people of Multnomah County and residents of House District 46.'

Keny-Guyer was a program manager for Oregon Solutions at Portland State University. Prior to that she was a consultant for public and private not-for-profit organizations in the state, such as the Nike Foundation, Deschutes County Commission on Children and Families, Oregon Campus Compact and family foundations.

She also was director of the Hanna Andersson Children's Foundation in Portland.

She is married to Mercy Corps' Chief Executive Officer Neal Keny-Guyer.

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