The communities of Tigard and Beaverton are fortunate to have an incumbent slate of effective legislators who can work well with others and advance the interests of their constituents.

Four well-intentioned — and in some cases, well-qualified — Republican challengers are contesting the seats now held by Tigard Rep. Margaret Doherty, and Beaverton's Sen. Mark Hass, Rep. Jeff Barker and Rep. Tobias Read, all Democrats.

However, none of these challengers have presented a compelling argument for voters to fire the incumbents. For that reason, we recommend re-election of Doherty as well as Hass, Barker and Read. Each of them functioned well in a 2011 and 2012 Legislature that showed greater bipartisan cooperation than any in recent memory.

Here is a recap of the four races:

House District 35: Rep. Margaret Doherty vs. John Goodhouse

Incumbent Doherty — who represents Tigard, Metzger and parts of Southwest Portland and Beaverton — faces a vigorous challenge from John Goodhouse, a financial advisor and community contributor. We are impressed by Goodhouse’s active involvement with local chambers of commerce and his grasp of business issues. He is a potential rising star for the Republican Party.

Doherty, however, has been a good match for the district since becoming a legislator in 2009. A former teacher and consultant with the Oregon Education Association, she has a solid knowledge of education. In her retirement, she has run a home-based floral business, and she has an impressive community-involvement background that includes serving on the Tigard Planning Commission.

We hope to see more of Goodhouse in the future, as he has a deep understanding of economic issues and an obvious desire to serve his community, as evidenced by his previous run for Tigard City Council. But for now, we recommend voters give Doherty their support in the Nov. 6 election.

House District 28: Rep. Jeff Barker vs. Manuel Castaneda

A retired Portland police officer, Barker is one of the most respected members of the Oregon House — someone who has shown a consistent ability to work with Republicans and other moderate Democrats to accomplish the real work of the Legislature.

He is opposed by Manuel Castaneda, a bright and assertive young Republican who has a basic knowledge of legislative issues, but who should seek other opportunities to gain political experience before running for the Legislature.

Barker’s expertise in law enforcement will come in handy in 2013, when a governor’s crime commission will bring recommendations forward. Barker, who represents Aloha and part of Beaverton, has a focus not on political posturing, but on “getting stuff done.” And he has the track record to prove his effectiveness. Voters should support him once again.

House District 27: Rep. Tobias Read vs. Burton Keeble

Read, a three-term incumbent, has carved out a niche in the House as a Democrat who understands business issues. An advocate for education and economic development, Read has championed the causes that are most important to his district, which includes portions of Beaverton, Southwest Portland and parts of unincorporated Multnomah and Washington counties.

Read is opposed in this election by Republican Burton Keeble, a retired technical writer who filed for the office at the last minute to ensure Read did not go unopposed. We appreciate Keeble’s willingness to step into the fray, but he lacks Read’s familiarity with the important matters confronting the 2013 Legislature. Voters should send Read back to Salem for another term.

Senate District 14: Mark Hass vs. Gary Coe

Hass may still be best known as a former TV reporter, but over the past decade, he has established a reputation as a leader in the Legislature, serving first in the Oregon House and more recently in the Senate.

Hass, who represents much of the Beaverton area and part of Southwest Portland, has made education a priority. He pushed for full-day kindergarten as well as experimentation in year-round education. Hass, however, also has shown his independence with his votes in favor of reforming the Public Employees Retirement System in the past, and his willingness to look at further PERS reforms in the future.

We are highly impressed with his Republican opponent, Gary Coe, who is a successful businessman in the towing and town car industry. He has done his homework on statewide issues and is sincere in his pledge to work hard for his district. But we believe Hass still has much to accomplish in the Legislature. Voters should give him another term.

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