In a joint meeting of the Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington County commissions, Portland Community College official Rob Wagner emerged as the chosen successor to state Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin).

Devlin resigned at the end of last year to take a job on the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Council, surrendering a seat that represents Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tualatin, Tigard and Riverdale.

In the event of resignations, commissioners from the counties included in the vacant district select a successor.

Wagner, a Lake Oswego School board member and former longtime Salem lobbyist for the American Federation of Teachers, faced stiff competition from Claudia Black, who recently retired as a lobbyist for Multnomah County, and Daphne Wysham, an environmentalist from West Linn. Black in particular generated strong support from people who'd known her over decades of public service. But Wagner got an earlier start and had strong support in Clackamas County, where more than half the voters in Senate District 19 reside.

Wagner will now occupy Devlin's former seat during the February short session and then seek election to the seat later this year.

In a statement, Sen. President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) welcomed Wagner to the Legislature.

"Rob Wagner is not new to the Capitol," Courtney said. "He knows the players. He knows the process. He has the potential to be a star."