March 15th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Multnomah County

Why Judy Shiprack Isn't Endorsing her County Colleagues

Judy Shiprack

Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack has made two endorsements for the May primary that observers may find surprising.

In the Democratic primary race for state treasurer between former county Chair Ted Wheeler and state Sen. Rick Metsger (D-Welches), Shiprack tells WW she's endorsing Metsger.

Shiprack is backing Metsger despite the fact she worked with Wheeler for more than a year on the county commission since Shiprack took office in January 2009. Shiprack says she's known Metsger since she served in the state House in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"It's not that I don't love Ted," Shiprack says. "But I saw Rick on Friday, and he asked me. And we talked about some of the values that we know are really important for the treasurer's office. The one that really came to the top is that it really is right now all about jobs for the state."

And in the crowded eight-person Multnomah County commissioner race to represent District 2 in North/Northeast Portland, Shiprack is endorsing Tom Markgraf, a consultant and former staffer for U.S. Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

Again, Shiprack's decision to endorse Markgraf comes despite the fact there are two county staffers in the race.

One of those is Roberta Phillip, although she started work in Wheeler's office just one day before he took the treasurer's job. But the other county staffer is of much longer standing — Karol Collymore, an aide to Commissioner Jeff Cogen.

But Shiprack says she likes Markgraf's connections in Washington, D.C. — a qualification important to the county when it needs federal aid.

"Tom just would be a delight to work with," Shiprack says. "Plus he worked for Congressman Blumenauer, and I think that's a relationship that would be really helpful to the county right now."
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