According to former presidential candidate Howard Dean, (“Betsy Johnson in the crosshairs,” The Daily Astorian, July 10) voters should dump our state senator because she cast a vote that killed a bill sought by fellow Democrats.

According the story, Dean directed his twitter followers to a blog that attacked state Sen. Johnson for her vote and said, “We need a new senator.” Mr. Dean, I’ve got some news for you. Sen. Johnson works for us, her constituents. She is an independent thinker and not an unthinking automaton who blindly follows the party line.

She is admired by her constituents because she represents those of us who live in Senate District 16, not necessarily the wishes of party officials in Washington, D.C. or Salem. Perhaps Johnson recognized that adding hundreds of thousands of voters, mostly from Portland and the Willamette Valley, would exacerbate the dominance the metro area has over rural Oregon in state politics.

Johnson is an extremely effective legislator who works very hard to support and represent her district. Dean’s recommendation is as lame as his premise. His effort to manipulate Northwest Oregon voters will (rightly) fail miserably.

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