September 18th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JONATHAN CROWL News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Multnomah County

And Then Were Three: The Finalists To Replace Margaret Carter


Multnomah County Democrats have chosen three candidates as contenders to replace former state Sen. Margaret Carter, who left office last month to take a state job.

The three people forwarded last night by a meeting of county Democrats for the county Board of Commissioners to consider next week as the new senator in Senate District 22 are state Rep. Chip Shields; former state Rep. Jo Ann Bowman; and Karol Collymore, an aide to county Commissioner Jeff Cogen.

Just as interesting Thursday night was the elimination of Roberta Phillip — who had been endorsed this week by a group of prominent African-Americans — because of questions raised about whether she qualified as a resident in the district representing parts of North and Northeast Portland.

With Phillip out, seven nominees took the floor, each allotted four minutes to appeal to voters. An eighth nominee, Harold Williams Two, was absent from the convention.

Health care reform was the hottest issue. Candidate Jim Robison seemed less interested in his candidacy and more interested in using his four minutes to advocate for a single-payer health care plan on either a federal or state level. He rounded out his argument by declaring, “If Saskatchewan can do it (implement a state-run single-payer plan), Oregon can do it.”

Job creation and public school funding were also hot issues. But the issue rarely mentioned was that of race, and whether Multnomah County's African-American population would get continued representation after Carter's 25 years as one of the few African-Americans in the Oregon Legislature.

Bowman and Collymore are both black. Shields is white but has support from some African-American leaders based on his history of working to represent minority groups.
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