Strong House Democrats Team Takes Shape

With the Primary Election over, the roster of Democratic candidates for the Oregon House of Representatives is now set. The strong group of candidates, both returning legislators and new faces, will spend the next six months campaigning on a bold vision for Oregon’s future—one where every working family has a shot at getting ahead.

Oregon’s House Democrats are running on a successful record of passing policies that improve the everyday lives of all Oregonians, and are well positioned to maintain a strong majority in the House.

“I’m thrilled that we have such strong candidates running for the House,” says Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson. “Each of them has deep ties to their community and are running for office to get Oregon’s priorities straight: funding K-12 schools, making higher education more affordable, protecting working families, and leveling the playing field for small businesses.”

Here’s a look at some of the new candidates in the 2016 election:

Teresa Alonso Leon, HD 22 (Woodburn): Teresa Alonso Leon grew up in Woodburn and attended Woodburn High School. She currently serves on the Woodburn City Council and in the Office of Community College and Workforce Development as the High School Equivalency and State GED Administrator. She has dedicated the last 18 years of her life helping students find their path to higher education and good-paying jobs.

Ray Lister, HD 26 (Wilsonville): A union electrician, Ray Lister lives in Wilsonville with his wife, Marci, and their sons, Cormac and Cian. Ray joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 48 and worked for a decade in electrical construction. In 2012, Ray accepted a position as an Organizer for Local 48 and today he is the Membership Development and Community Outreach Coordinator.

Janeen Sollman, HD 30 (Hillsboro): Janeen Sollman has served on the Hillsboro School Board since 2009 and as Board Chair from 2011-2013. As an active volunteer, Sollman has been a long-time advocate for her community. She has helped homebound seniors with Meals on Wheels, assisted homeless families with the Washington County Project Homeless Connect, and served as a committed volunteer in local schools to make sure that every student has the opportunity to succeed. 

Paul Carlos Southwick, HD 37 (Tualatin & West Linn): Paul Carlos Southwick grew up in Clackamas County on a small farm, where he learned to value hard work, fairness and taking care of his family. Paul’s parents educated him at home for most of his K-12 education and he went on to graduate from Clackamas Community College, George Fox University and the University of Michigan Law School. Paul is currently an attorney at the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

Mark Meek, HD 40 (Clackamas County): Mark Meek serves on the Clackamas County Planning Commission, is the president of his neighborhood association, serves on committees for the Oregon Association of Realtors and Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, and is active in the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce. He served for eight years in the United States Air Force. Mark and his wife, Cindy, have been married over 30 years and live in Gladstone.

Janelle Bynum, HD 51 (Clackamas): Janelle Bynum and her husband, Mark, live in Happy Valley with their children. Janelle’s parents, both teachers, taught her that education was the key to a better, safer world. When drug violence threatened her inner city neighborhood in Washington, DC, Janelle put that ideal into practice. She earned scholarships and put herself through school, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and her Master’s degree in Business Administration. Janelle operates her family’s small business, running two restaurants in the community. In her restaurants, Janelle mentors her employees, provides scholarships to continue their education and encourages them to dream big.

Mark Reynolds, HD 52 (Hood River): Mark Reynolds lives near Odell with his wife, Mary, a kindergarten teacher. Mark is a life-long resident of the Columbia Gorge and grew up on a farm in Sherman County. He has served on the Wasco County Commission on Children and Families and was selected for the Committee of Practitioners for the state Migrant Education Program. Mark began teaching in 1990. He managed Migrant Education and after school programs, then taught English, Spanish, and Social Studies at Cascade Locks and Hood River Valley High Schools until he retired in 2015.

Gena Goodman-Campbell, HD 54 (Bend): From 2007 to 2009, Gena Goodman-Campbell led a successful campaign to help protect the Badlands Wilderness, which culminated with the passage through U.S. Congress of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Act. She helped bring together a diverse coalition of supporters, ranging from the faith community to over 200 local business owners, including several of Central Oregon’s top employers. Today, Goodman-Campbell is the Central Oregon Wilderness Coordinator for the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA).

New Candidates in Other Districts

Pam Marsh, HD 5 (Ashland): Pam Marsh is a 21-year resident of Oregon, a city council member, small business owner and manager of Ashland’s nonprofit food bank. Pam was appointed by the City Council to fill a vacant position in December 2012. Two years later she won a 4-year term, receiving 90% of the votes cast. Pam has served as a member and chair of the City Planning Commission and as a member of the Ashland Charter Review Committee, and volunteered for a variety of community organizations including Ashland High School Booster Club and Down Syndrome Association of Southern Oregon. Currently, she serves as a board member of the Family Nurturing Center.

Julie Fahey, HD 14 (Lane County): Julie is a graduate of the Emerge program and currently serves as the Treasurer for the Democratic Party of Oregon. Julie has 15 years of experience in the private sector as a business consultant and co-founder of ThreePoint Consulting, a human resources consulting firm for businesses and non-profits. In addition to her work with businesses, Julie has helped schools and education groups tackle some of the biggest talent-related challenges facing education today.

Sheri Malstrom, HD 27 (Beaverton): Sheri Malstrom has more than 30 years of experience as a public health nurse. She has spent a lifetime helping families in Oregon raise healthy children. Her expertise led her to be appointed by the Governor to the Oregon Commission on Women.

Karin Power, HD 41 (Milwaukie): As a nonprofit environmental attorney and Milwaukie City Councilor, Karin Power has been hard at work serving the community on a number of boards and committees. She has championed updates to the Milwaukie Lending Library, worked on infrastructure needs for small and large businesses, and has advocated for a quality education for all children in the community.

Tawna Sanchez, HD 43 (Portland): Tawna Sanchez is a dedicated advocate and proven progressive who has spent her life helping strengthen the community around her. Born of Shoshone-Bannock, Ute, and Carrizo descent, she grew up in Portland. She has received a Bachelor’s of Arts from Marylhurst University and a Masters in Social Work from Portland State University. She helped co-found the Native American Youth and Family (NAYA) Center and serves as the Family Services Director and Interim Executive Director.

Diego Hernandez, HD 47 (Portland): Diego Hernandez graduated from Reynolds High School, then worked his way through college at the University of Oregon, where he received a BA in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. After college, Diego received his Masters in Social Work at Portland State University. Because of his passion for serving his community, Diego then became a teacher at Parkrose Middle and High School. Diego Hernandez was the first Latino ever elected to the Reynolds School Board and was appointed to the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs.