As of Friday, April 13, 2018
Aurora del Val of Cascade Locks has stepped away from the Oregon House Dist. 52 contest.
Del Val made the announcement on social media Wednesday that she will withdraw and instead support the other Democrat candidate in the race, Anna Williams.
A post on “Aurora del Val for House District 52” Facebook page said she delivered a “drop-the-mic” address at a Sandy candidate forum April 9. The post cited election finance reform among her reasons for withdrawing.
Del Val’s post said a change occurred after she attended an earthquake emergency preparedness workshop in Corbett in which the presenter asked, “Who do you want to be when the big one hits?”
“This question rocked me to my core because our nation has been reverberating from the big one hitting on November 2016. This quake led me and thousands of other women to step up and run for public office,” del Val said.
Del Val said she quickly learned that to “be a viable candidate, you need to raise money” and it took her out of her comfort zone asking for donations in the Water Protection measure and the Mt. Hood Community College bond measure.
“I discovered that I’m a pretty good fundraiser. At the same time, I viscerally began to understand how money has come to play such a major role in campaigning. To win a state or federal race, candidates need to repeatedly go back to the same supporters to ask for money. That works if you know a lot of independently wealthy people, but most ordinary citizens like me and Anna Williams don’t.”
On finance reform, del Val said, “We absolutely need radical campaign finance reform. So many problems we face today are rooted in too much money in politics. So much of campaigning is incredibly wasteful, and simply put — our election process privileges the privileged.”
She said, “I want to be resourceful. I want to reduce waste. I also learned that I no longer want to run as a candidate. Instead, I want to consolidate resources and stand with Anna Williams and make sure that she flips the district and represents us in Salem.”
Del Val said she and Williams “share the same values and sensibilities for our region and Oregon. She understands that we need to bridge divides and focus on the common good.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you truly want until you test out the water. I have no regrets about running in this contested race because, oddly enough, it helped me get clear on what I want and don’t want. Anna is intelligent, compassionate, articulate, and skillful in connecting with people throughout the district. Strong women who share a common vision build each other up; we don’t tear each other down.”
A reply comment from Williams’ Facebook page April 11 said, “Thank you, Aurora! I’m honored to have your support, excited to work together to bring House District 52 the rural progressive representation we deserve!”
Kim Kean, Hood River County elections supervisor, said because a deadline has passed del Val cannot officially withdraw, and her name will still be on the ballot.