As the November elections near and my time in elected office draws to a close, I am frequently asked about future representation for House District 10. Because this question means so much to me, I have decided to share my thoughts about three critical races.
I fully support the re-election of Bill Hall to the County Commission. After serving for 12 years as a Lincoln County Commissioner and deciding to move into state government, I gave very serious consideration to the question of who might succeed me. My choice was Bill Hall because I appreciated Bill’s intellect, compassion and demonstrated understanding of the complexities of any public policy decision.
My faith in Bill’s ability and character continues, undiminished. He has proven himself to be a leader in finding ways to combat the challenges faced by the homeless individuals in our communities, championing specialized drug courts and mental health courts, and always seeking innovative approaches to providing the best possible county services within the constraints of shrinking revenues. None of this is easy; I know that fact well. But Bill’s commitment to doing all that he can never wavers.
Now, to address replacing me as your state representative: I have given my backing and assistance to David Gomberg. Because small business is the backbone of this district’s economy, the fact that David and his wife, Susan, are small business owners themselves, will allow him to take that valuable expertise to Salem on our behalf. Additionally, he shares my commitment to seniors’ support and public education.
David is not a newcomer to the state political structure and he is well-positioned to quickly become an effective voice in that arena. But he also recognizes that he must inform himself about the key issues of importance to the citizens of House District 10. That’s why he is walking our neighborhoods to learn more about our current concerns. He has talked extensively with me to learn the background that has influenced recent legislative issues and he will remain open to gaining the critical insights that he will need to take with him to Salem, in order to speak out effectively on our behalf.
Finally, I encourage support of Arnie Roblan in his bid to succeed retiring State Senator Joanne Verger to represent us in Senate District 5. I have worked closely with Arnie, who has served as the State Representative for House District 9 (just south of us) for eight years and is currently Co-Speaker of the Oregon House. He has consistently supported the issues that matter to folks in our district such as growing the marine research industry, protection of our environment while maintaining our sustainable fisheries, the bid to bring NOAA to Newport, and a tireless commitment to quality public education.
Arnie is my confidant, my partner in matters of importance to local residents, and my friend. He is an empathetic individual who thoroughly understands coastal issues. And he has the unique skills necessary to keep our legislative chamber functioning as smoothly as possible during the co-governance experiment generated by an unprecedented 30-30 (Democrats and Republicans) tie in the Oregon House this biennium.
If you have not yet met any of these outstanding individuals, I urge you to do so between now when you mail in your ballot. There will be many opportunities at the candidate “meet and greets,” forums and town halls scheduled throughout October.
We are living in challenging economic times. Bill Hall, David Gomberg, and Arnie Roblan will serve you well in their respective roles as we move forward. I urge you to support all three.
State Representative Jean Cowan (D-Newport), has announced her retirement at the end of her current term. She was previously a Lincoln County Commissioner from 1993-2004