September 15th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Multnomah County

Wheeler Lays Out His Requirements for Oregon Senate (And Asks for Yours)


Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler tells WW he has three qualifications he wants to see in candidates seeking to replace outgoing state Sen. Margaret Carter (D-North/Northeast Portland).

And Wheeler is in a key position to lay down those requirements for contenders. The five-member board of commissioners he heads will vote Sept. 24 on who will replace Carter, choosing from up to five candidates selected by the county Democratic Party.

A heads-up to the candidates: Wheeler says he's looking for someone with these three traits:
• Knowledge of Senate District 22, including key issues and plans to tackle those issues.

• An understanding of how to take leadership in a legislative body, and specifically how to get bills through the Oregon Senate.

• Expertise in the issues specifically facing Multnomah County and an agenda to address those problems in Salem.

Wheeler said he isn't necessarily looking for someone with experience in the Legislature, but he needs to see some political acumen specific to Salem.

"It includes being convincing, being able to build coalitions and being able to work with the people that you're representing." Wheeler says. "I do not believe elected leadership is the only way of gaining that experience."

Wheeler wants your input as well. He's asking the public to submit questions for the candidates via Facebook and Twitter.

"While social media is particularly convenient, I'm happy to consider questions scrawled on the back of envelopes or cocktail napkins," Wheeler is quoted as saying in a news release.

"If we get thousands of suggestions, I can only use a few."
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