It was only five months ago that we explored the race for Metro Council President on Think Out Loud. That was before the primary election. Now just the top two candidates are left to run for this non-partisan regional leadership position. And although the list of groups backing the candidates might suggest it’s a race pitting development interests against environmentalists, both candidates say it’s not so simple.
Tom Hughes is the former mayor of Hillsboro. He was born and raised there, and taught government and history at nearby Aloha High School for almost thirty years. During that time he also held various elected positions. Hughes is supported by people including Oregon’s Speaker of the House, Dave Hunt, and Oregon Labor Commissioner, Brad Avakian. Organizations such as the Oregon Business Association and the Northwest Oregon Labor Council of the AFL-CIO also back him. In the primary he won the most votes in Clackamas and Washington counties.
Bob Stacey is an attorney and the former head 1000 Friends of Oregon. He worked briefly as the chief of staff for Congressman Earl Bluemenauer and as a senior policy advisor for former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts. He is supported by organizations including the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club and by people including Portland Mayor Sam Adams. In the primary he won Multnomah County.
Metro encompasses 25 cities and three counties, many with very diverse interests. Some say the main job of Metro’s leader is to build relationships to help bridge regional divides. Who is best suited for that role? Who should be the region’s next leader?
What questions do you have — about land use, waste management, transportation, job creation, the environment, or the general health of the region — for these candidates?