Harrington, Terry in runoff for Washington County chair
Kathryn Harrington jumped to a quick lead Tuesday in the four-way race to succeed Andy Duyck as chair of the Washington County commissioners.
But Harrington, a Metro councilor, will face a Nov. 6 contest with sitting Commissioner Bob Terry. Neither appeared to be winning a majority to avoid a runoff.
Former legislator Ryan Deckert raised a record $250,000 but finished in third place, followed by telecommunications sales representative Shabba Woodley.
Terry said he was not that surprised by Harrington's strong showing, given that much of her Metro Council district overlaps with his board district, which covers the western part of the county. Deckert, on the other hand, represented the eastern part of the county when he was a legislator from 1997 to 2007.
"I will give her credit that she has always worked hard at the grassroots," Terry said. "She is well known in my district. We thought we would end up running against her."
The Nov. 6 election will pose a stark choice. Harrington is a critic of the board, Terry a supporter of many of its current policies, although Terry says he would bring his own priorities.
Meanwhile, Tuesday's election guarantees the board will have two new faces.
Pam Treece unseated Commissioner Greg Malinowski in District 2, which covers the county's northeast corner, mostly unincorporated communities but also parts of Beaverton and Hillsboro. Malinowski sought a third term, and had attacked some of Treece's campaign contributions from business.
"I am proud of this win and the work that went into running a positive campaign," Treece said. "I am honored that I will be a commissioner for all of our residents."
Former Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey defeated Kimberly Culbertson for the District 4 seat being vacated by Terry.
If Harrington wins on Nov. 6, there will be three new faces on a board that hasn't changed for eight years.
Voter participation appeared to be just above 26 percent, which would make it the lowest in the 18 years since Washington County and Oregon began using mail ballots in primary and general elections. The previous low was in 2014, when 32.3 percent of county voters cast ballots, also in a nonpresidential election year.
The scramble for board chair was touched off 13 months ago, when Duyck announced at the close of his state of the county talk he would retire at the end of the term.
Duyck has been on the board 24 years, the past eight years as chairman, which is elected countywide on a nonpartisan basis.
All four of Duyck's would-be successors announced their candidacies early. It was in contrast to 2010, when only two candidates — both sitting commissioners — sought to be chairman after Tom Brian decided not to seek a fourth term.
Deckert had raised almost $250,000 for the cycle, followed by Harrington at $200,000, Terry at $130,000 and Woodley at $5,000.
In contrast, Treece raised more than $200,000 as the challenger, compared with $84,000 by Malinowski. Treece has been executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance since 2012 and is well connected in the business community.
Harrington, 58, is a former high-tech employee who has been on the Metro Council since 2006 and has served the maximum three terms. She criticized the current county leadership for neglecting housing and social service needs of its less affluent residents.
Terry, 72, succeeded Duyck as District 4 commissioner in 2010. He won re-election in 2014 over former U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Furse. He retired from the nursery business in 2016.
He made no apologies for the record of county government. But he also said there is much to be done in mental health and public safety, housing and transportation.
He won the personal endorsements of Duyck and Commissioner Roy Rogers, although Duyck, Rogers and former Chairman Tom Brian — whose political committee contributed to Deckert — issued a statement praising Deckert.
Deckert, 46, is a former state legislator and former president of the Oregon Business Association, which has since merged with another organization.
Woodley, 27, is a telecommunications sales representative who said he would reflect the concerns of ordinary people better than the other candidates. It was his second bid for public office.
Malinowski, 60, is a farmer in Bethany and former high-tech worker who was elected to the open District 2 seat in 2010.
Treece, 66, was a physical education teacher and small-business owner before she worked for PacifiCorp for 21 years, ending as its vice president for external affairs. She was an economic development advocate before she came to Westside in 2012.