by: . - Bowerman Clackamas County Commissioner candidate Karen Bowerman mingled with locals in Barbara’s Flowers & Coffee on Monday, May 5.

Bowerman, who currently serves on the Lake Oswego City Council, is vying for the Position 2 seat against Rick Best and incumbent Paul Savas.

Though several citizens admitted to already having voted, Bowerman spoke of the issues and politics that prompted her to run.

Referencing the empty storefronts on Broadway, Bowerman discussed the importance of job recovery in Clackamas County and having local job opportunities in Estacada.

“Clackamas County, not just Estacada, has not had the jobs recovery since the recession, and that’s a big problem,” she said. “We’re at 44 percent recovery as compared to surrounding counties that are over 100 percent.”

As a former business dean, Bowerman said she’s worked her whole life on job development.

“In this area, we can put on the pressure to have something positive, with regard to lumber we would be in a very good place,” she said.

When asked if she’d like to deliver a specific message to Estacada, Bowerman replied that in talking with locals several had told her they did not know which commissioner was their liaison to the county.

“If it was me, you’d know,” she said.

According to the Clackamas County website, commissioners are assigned to geographic areas throughout Clackamas County for four months in an effort to identify local issues of concern, attend meetings and events and meet constituents.

Savas is the current commissioner assigned to Outreach Area 5 which includes Estacada, Eagle Creek-Barton,

Damascus and Sandy.

Commissioner race

The Clackamas County Commissioner race has been playing out dramatically in the media.

The Clackamas Review reported that on April 5, Clackamas County Chairman John Ludlow sent a letter of support for Bowerman and Steve Bates, who is running for the Position 5 commissioner seat against incumbent Jim Bernard.

The letter spent most of its 800 words criticizing Bernard and Savas.

It was an unusual move, the Clackamas Review reported, as it is an unspoken rule of politics that local elected officials don’t usually oppose the re-election campaigns of members of their own city council, county commission, or water or school board.

Savas, who became county commissioner in 2011 after being active in the county since 1985 as a business owner and elected official, said he’s “somewhat exhausted by the rhetoric that continues to be out there,” but he’s likely to “rise above that.”

“In my 12 or 13 years in elected politics, I had never experienced anything like this,” Savas said in reference to Ludlow’s endorsements.

Bowerman expressed her disappointment that media outlets have focused on the attacks rather than her support of the letter.

“Newspapers have never asked me,” Bowerman said. “There were a number of issues raised in John’s letter,” and she argued that the focus should be on those issues rather than the letter’s vitriol.

The Clackamas Review reported that Rick Best said he decided to challenge Savas rather than Bernard based on flipping a coin. Best came to Clackamas after 23 years of an active military career and is not accepting campaign donations.

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