Two Hood River legislators are “humbled” by their strong victories in Tuesday’s re-election bid — and both are determined to fulfill that high level of public trust.
“I think the people of this district reward hard work and I thank them for this honor and look forward to using my experience on their behalf,” said Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett.
Smith garnered almost 62 percent of the 7,072 local votes cast in her race for the House District 52 seat against Democratic challenger Larry Cramblett. She won against the Cascade Locks resident by a count of 4,214 to 2,584.
Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, is even more pleased to have won over Republican contender Bob Montgomery, also of Cascade Locks, in Senate District 26 which traditionally has been a Republican stronghold. He was highly gratified to capture more than 57 percent of the vote, winning by a margin of 3,914 to 2,916.
“When it gets right down to it most Oregonians vote for the person first so I thought it was critical to be an accessible part of the community and I think that showed up in the vote,” said Metsger, who has made almost daily trips to Hood River since he inherited the county through legislative redistricting in 2001.
In fact, Metsger arrived in the river city early on Wednesday morning to personally thank his supporters and enjoy a lunch break at the Sixth Street Bistro, one of the many local businesses he became acquainted with during his visits to the Gorge.
Even after spending hours on the campaign trail and fulfilling their legislative duties, Metsger and Smith are far from tired. They both believe that Oregon has reached an important economic crossroad and immediate action is needed to steer the recovery in the right direction.
For that reason both elected officials are also pleased that even with partisan differences on some issues they are able to form a united front.
“Patti and I work together extremely well and with a divided legislature that cooperative spirit will be very critical,” Metsger said.
“We complement each other and I think it’s going to be a good partnership that works in the best interest of our district,” said Smith.
Both Metsger and Smith believe that the long-term cure for Oregon’s budget woes lies in creation of family-wage jobs.
They are also adamant that school funding needs to be stabilized and state transportation problems resolved to help attract more industry and commerce.