Hillsboro voters will decide shape of county, Metro and Legislature this November
Residents in Western Washington County will have a few decisions to make this spring, as voters decide several key elected positions during May's primary election.
The filing deadline for the May 13 primary closed Tuesday, March 6. Who voters ultimately choose could drastically change several public agencies, with races at the county and regional levels on the line.
The Washington County board of commissioners will have at least two new members after May's election, with the board's chair and the Hillsboro-area representative facing no incumbents.
Two candidates are vying for District 4, a massive district covering the Hillsboro and Forest Grove area west toward Tillamook County. That race pits local activist Kimberly Culberton against former Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey, who served from 2009 until January 2018.
The race for chair of the Board of Commissioners chair also hits close to home. Washington County Board Chairman Andy Duyck is not running for re-election, and a smorgasbord of challengers have stepped up to claim his seat, including Hillsboro resident and current District 4 commissioner Bob Terry.
Terry is racing against three other opponents: former state legislator Ryan Deckert, Metro councilor Kathryn Harrington and telecommunications sales representative Shabba Woodley. A fifth challenger, Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden, withdrew his candidacy and is instead running for commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries.
Harrington — who is term limited after three 12 years at Metro — leaves her seat open for challengers
As the Portland area's regional government, Metro plans the region's growth, and oversees its sewer system, natural areas and several local attractions including the Oregon Zoo and Portland Expo Center.
Hoping to replace Harrington are Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Dana Carstensen. Carstensen, an employee at the Oregon Zoo, has a degree in planning and public policy from the University of Oregon and is a representative for the zoo's union.
Gonzalez, a Forest Grove native raised in Cornelius, is spokesman and director of development for Centro Cultural de Washington County, a nonprofit that works with the county's large Latino population. Gonzalez studied economics and government at Georgetown University.
Metro President and former Hillsboro Mayor Tom Hughes is also term limited and two challengers have filed for his position: Lynn Peterson, a former Clackamas County commissioner and last minute challenger Michael Langley, who initially planned to run for Metro's District 5, but filed for the president's seat shortly before the March 6 filing deadline.
Other races will determine the makeup of the Oregon Legislature. Republicans Monte Akers and Alexander Flores are running for Oregon's Senate District 15. The winner of that race will take on Democratic lawmaker Chuck Riley this fall. Likewise in southern Hillsboro, Dan Laschober is looking to unseat freshman Republican Rich Vial in House District 26.
Hillsboro-area races in the May 15 primary election:
Metro Council President
Metro Councilor, District 4
Juan Carlos Gonzalez
Oregon Senate Dist. 15
Democrat: Chuck Riley (incumbent)
Republican: Alexander Flores, Monte Akers
Oregon Senate Dist. 16
Democrat: Betsy Johnson (incumbent)
Oregon House Dist. 24
Republican: Ron Noble (incumbent)
Oregon House Dist. 26
Republican: Rich Vial (incumbent), Dan Laschober
Democrat: Ryan Spiker
Oregon House Dist.28
Democrat: Jeff Barker (incumbent)
Oregon House Dist.29
Democrat: Susan McLain (incumbent)
Republican: David Molina
Oregon House Dist. 30
Democrat: Janeen Sollman (incumbent)
Republican: Dorothy Merritt