Our final and most emphatic endorsement goes to state Sen. Betsy Johnson, who is a force of nature on behalf of her constituency.
Her re-election campaign has been no less vigorous than prior years even though she does not have serious opposition.
Ray Biggs, a little-known member of the Constitution Party from Columbia City, is running against her. While we admire anyone who steps up to the plate, especially doing so to prevent an incumbent being re-elected unopposed, Biggs has not offered any sound reasons why anyone would want to replace Johnson with him.
Johnson’s commitment to a lifetime of public service was learned as a girl watching the example of her father, Sam Johnson, who served seven terms in the Oregon House in the 1960s and 1970s and was mayor of Redmond, and her mother, Becky, who served on state boards.
Charitable contributions through the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation, which her parents created, have considerably enhanced organizations throughout Oregon.
A resident of Scappoose, Betsy Johnson served the Port of St. Helens and the Columbia County Health District, and lobbied on behalf of aviation interests before working for the state, managing the aeronautics division of the Oregon Department of Transportation, which she helped create.
Following in her father’s footsteps, she served first in the House then took over the District 16 Senate seat when Joan Dukes retired. This will be her fourth term in the upper house in Salem, representing the differing communities in Clatsop and Columbia counties with equal vigor.
When critics complain about politicians not representing the people, Betsy Johnson is the asterisk. “Everyone except Betsy, of course.”
She is a tireless dynamo, working long hours on myriad subjects from logging to fishing to education to health. It is remarkable that Johnson seems to find more hours in the day than just about anyone you will meet.
Trained as a lawyer, skilled as a pilot, Johnson’s approach is deeply rooted in a respect for every resident of the state, carrying on Oregon’s traditions within the legal framework, making modifications where necessary as society changes. And she does so in a refreshing, personable manner which exhibits her caring nature.
People unused to voting for Democrats might pause. But there is no need. Johnson’s commitment to encouraging bipartisan consensus in Salem is something she lives out on a daily basis.
In fact, anyone who has followed her career would laugh at the idea of her being the proverbial “cookie-cutter” Democrat. Many liberal Democrats fault her because she sometimes votes with Republicans, especially on gun and criminal justice issues. We believe that shows she is in sync with her constituents.
We urge a positive check mark next to Betsy Johnson’s name.