The Portland area’s regional government, Metro, is getting a new leader with a range of experience that includes public service work on both sides of the Columbia River.
Early returns show that Lynn Peterson will be easily elected to run the tri-county government, which oversees regional land use and transportation planning, trash collection and the Oregon Zoo and Convention Center, among other services.
Peterson is a former Clackamas County chairwoman and Lake Oswego City Council member, and she served as a transportation advisor to former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. She also worked as the head of the Washington Department of Transportation.
Peterson had endorsements from a who’s who of Oregon elected officials, past and present, and her campaign included a 24-city bike tour. Her opponent, east Multnomah County salesman and frequent candidate Michael Langley, raised little money and did little campaigning.
Peterson will replace former Hillsboro Mayor Tom Hughes, who is retiring.
Three other seats on the seven-person Metro council were up for election Tuesday. Incumbent Shirley Craddick, whose District 1 seat includes some of East Portland along with Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview and other points east, was unopposed for re-election.
In District 4, which includes Hillsboro and much of Washington County, Juan Carlos Gonzalez appeared headed to victory over Dana Carstensen.
Gonzalez, the son of Mexican immigrants, is the development director for Centro Cultural de Washington County, a nonprofit that serves immigrant communities, and a former intern for U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. He was endorsed by Hughes, the outgoing Metro Council president, and the mayors of Beaverton, Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Cornelius. Carstensen is a labor organizer and works at the Oregon Zoo.
The most competitive race was in District 2, where four candidates faced off. All of them applied for the job earlier this year after Councilor Carlotta Collete stepped down. Joe Buck held a lead over incumbent Betty Dominguez in early returns.