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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 30 April 2008

This May's primary election puts some difficult choices before voters. Some races – such as City Commissioner positions 1 and 2 – present a whole field of talented candidates. Others present a choice between two nearly equal talents.  The Skanner took a hard look at all the contested races and made endorsements in contested races. We did not make endorsements on uncontested or geographically distant races. 

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U.S. President: Barack Obama. Obama has gathered support from young people and older people of all stripes who want to change the way we do politics in America. We feel that this country needs to take a new direction and we need to take it now. We are facing tremendous challenges – challenges that will demand we rise above the old stale conflicts that have divided us for so long. We need to leave behind the last 30 years of division and walk together as a nation toward a global future. Look forward. Vote for our future.
United States Senator: Jeff Merkley. Merkley has shown strong, effective leadership as speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives. He deserves the chance to take on Sen. Gordon Smith in November.
Representative in the U.S. Congress, 1st District: David Wu.
Representative in Congress, 3rd District: Earl Blumenauer.
Representative in Congress, 5th District: Kurt Schrader. As Rep. Darlene Hooley bows out of national politics her district could go either Republican or Democrat this fall. The Democrats need a strong candidate. Kurt Schrader is an experienced legislator who cares about the issues that matter to Oregonians.
Secretary of State: Kate Brown. In other circumstances we would support Vicki Walker, because of her sterling work in Salem. But Kate Brown's long and successful record in the Oregon Senate, shows this lawyer can rise above the fray of partisan politics.
Attorney General: John R. Kroger  Kroger, who prosecuted Enron executives, has the experience to take it to the top.
State Senator 23rd District: Jackie Dingfelder Sen. Avel Gordly's departure from the legislature has left a giant pair shoes for the next candidate to fill. This should have been   a difficult choice, since Gordly's chief of staff Sean Cruz also is running. But while Cruz has experience in Salem and a heart to match, his 'can-do' rating took a dive when he failed to meet deadline for the Voters Guide. Dingfelder was a strong state representative who championed health care, education and fiscal responsibility. Her track record says she'll make a good state senator.
State Representative 42nd District  Jules Kopel-Bailey With more than one excellent candidate in the race, this decision was no slam dunk. We went for Kopel-Bailey because he has the financial know-how to make good decisions and a track record of advocacy.
State representative 45th District Cyreena Boston A community advocate practically from birth, Cyreena Boston has the brains, energy and passion to help all Oregonians thrive. Wise beyond her years, she may well become the youngest legislator in Salem.
United States Senator Gordon Smith  Some say Sen. Smith has too often supported President Bush, but Smith has been a friend to communities in North and Northeast Portland and an advocate willing to work with Democrats on mental health issues. He understands rural Oregon and votes his principles.
Representative in the U.S. Congress, 1st District: Claude William Chappell IV This principled small business owner takes a strong stance against the War. We like his ethics and his fiscal responsibility.
Multnomah County
County Commissioner District 1. Deborah Kafoury  She knows the issues and how to deliver results.
County Commissioner District 3 Rob Milesnick  Schools, drug and mental health treatment, health care and sustainable jobs: Milesnick knows what's needed to improve our community and he'll work to make it happen.
County Commissioner District 4 Carla Piluso The Gresham chief of police is as strong an advocate for prevention and social services as she is for law enforcement.
Metro Council District 2 Carlotta Collette Collette has been doing a good job. She should carry on working to prepare our region for the transportation and neighborhood challenges we are facing.
City of Portland
Mayor of Portland  This time around we are not making an endorsement. The two frontrunners each have much to recommend them. Sam Adams knows this city inside out and has a clear vision for its future. Sho Dozono is a well-liked business leader with a collaborative style. Both have done and want to do great things for Portland. We suspect the race will be too close to call. If so, The Skanner will endorse a candidate before the run-off election.
City Commissioner Position 1 John Branam This was one of the hardest calls to make. Jeff Bissonette, Mike Fahey, Amanda Fritz, Charles Lewis and Chris Smith are among Portland's best and brightest. We're going with John Branam because he can bring a breath of fresh air to city council. Open minded and collaborative, he'll be a champion for jobs and children.
City Commissioner Position 2 Nick Fish Nick Fish has worked hard for this community for several years and deserves an opportunity to bring his leadership abilities to city council. Fish is a strong advocate for minorities and on labor issues, transparent government, children and families. Fred Stewart, a longtime neighborhood activist, also is running for this position. Stewart definitely is qualified for the job and would make a great commissioner. We hope he stays in politics.
City Commissioner Position 4 Randy Leonard Commissioner Leonard's strong record of advocacy, fiscal responsibility and achievement speaks for itself. With just one low-profile contender running against him he will easily retain his seat on city council.
Measure 51 Yes This measure allows individual victims to pursue their rights. It means victims will have the right to know about plea bargains, hearings and to speak in court on sentencing. They also will be able to protest violations of their rights.
Measure 52 Yes This is a companion measure to Measure 51. It allows for victims to pursue their rights in court and to ask for protections such as 'no contact' orders.
Measure 53 No  Some years back the government could seize property found near a crime scene. As a result someone caught selling 3 ounces of pot could lose his car, his furniture, his home – That's as well as paying the price in court. And if that property belonged to someone else -- a parent, for example, or a wife – it could take months and years to retrieve it. Voters finally realized the injustice of the law and changed it. Now this measure says it wants to close a loophole that leaves animals sitting in the pound and meth dealers sitting on piles of ill-gotten cash. But we fear this bill will open the door to abuses. Will it take property from some struggling family member who may not have original deeds, titles or receipts? Will a mile be taken where an inch is allowed? Resolve the pets' issues by all means but leave the property alone.  
More details on other candidates at
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