As many of you know by now, Rep. Greg Matthews has decided against running for re-election to his seat representing Gresham in the Oregon House of Representatives.

It can be said, without exaggeration, that the loss for the House — which has benefited from Matthews’ measured and engaging style since 2008 — is an even greater loss for the people living in District 50.

Rep. Greg MatthewsMatthews’ proudest accomplishments have revolved around helping fund gang task force initiatives as well as advocating for veterans and firefighters.

Of the legislation he is most proud of, it would have to be the bill he sponsored that improves access to Workers Compensation benefits for firefighters for certain cancers that are the result of workplace exposure.

Unlike so many other lawmakers at the state and national levels, Matthews has effortlessly tread the line between the two major parties, groups that too often fall into a reckless pattern of petty partisan rhetoric and finger pointing. Matthews has avoided that negativity and has served as a lawmaker on his own terms.

Never known as a policy wonk, Matthews was probably better known in the House as a friendly and gregarious lawmaker who was able to forge nonpartisan alliances. He did that by earning trust and respect.

With years of public safety experience — first as a police officer in Gresham and later as a firefighter, also in Gresham — Matthews has seen people at their lowest and highest points. No doubt that experience shaped his motivations as a lawmaker, inspiring him to make a significant difference in the lives of the people of Gresham and throughout Oregon.

Matthews can leave office with the knowledge that he was successful.

He will be missed by his Gresham constituents.

No doubt, East County will continue to benefit from Matthews’ exceptional style of leadership, whether he is serving as the emcee of a SnowCap fundraiser, volunteering with a service organization or serving in a leadership capacity within the Gresham Fire Department.

Well done, Greg. Thank you for preserving our faith in the political system.

Contract Publishing

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