Ron Saxton, whose fresh ideas enlivened the 2002 Republican primary for governor, will speak in Astoria Feb. 4.

Saxton actually won the GOP race in Clatsop County with 34 percent of the vote, pushing statewide primary winner Kevin Mannix into second place. Statewide he placed third, just one percentage point behind Jack Roberts.

Before running, Saxton's prior experience in public office was as chairman of the Portland School Board, During the campaign, he was the only candidate on either side to press strongly for significant reforms of the state retirement system (PERS). On abortion he also has pro-choice views, making him out of step with the religious right that controls much of the GOP.

His talk next week will be the evening after the statewide vote on Measure 30.

Saxton will address the Columbia Forum at the Duncan Law Seafood Center. Hors d'oeuvres are at 6 p.m. with the dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saxton will speak at 7:30 p.m.

Cost is $17.50 for the meal. Guests may attend the speech without the dinner for $5. For reservations, contact Michele Tila at 325-3211 ext. 200.

Seats must be reserved by 5 p.m Monday.

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