Retain Thatcher

There will be many divisive issues facing the legislature next year, including reproductive rights , illegal drugs, crime, homelessness and affordable housing. How things turn out will depend on who is elected governor. November’s election could upturn state politics for years to come.
The race for Oregon Senate District 11 is a campaign of local titans: incumbent Kim Thatcher, the Republican candidate versus Richard Walsh, local attorney and former Keizer city councilor.
Thatcher is running for her third term. She previously served in the state House for 10 years. Walsh served on the city council for two terms; he was council president for two of his eight years.
Voters want a legislator that reflects them and their values. Keizer is a right of center community and Thatcher mirrors that. She has done nothing to warrant tossing her out of office.
Voters will have a stark choice in this race. Both candidates care deeply about the state of Oregon and its citizens. In her 18 years in the state legislature Thatcher has often focused on big issues, many of which are important to Oregonians, such as gun ownership and election credibility.
Most of Walsh’s public works have been local—he was a key player in establishing Keizer Rapids Park as well as issues relating to the Willamette River.
Both candidates make good arguments in soliciting support from District 11 voters: Thatcher strives to hold the Democratic majority accountable to Oregonians everywhere. Democrats have recently held a supermajority in both houses of the legislature. She is passionate about making daily life more affordable for families and making Oregon safer. Thatcher seeks balance and compromise across the aisle.
One of Walsh’s arguments is that he can be a more effective legislator for the district with a Democratic majority in the state senate. The probability is that the Democrats will not have as big a margin after the general election—giving him an important voice come January—if he is elected.
Walsh would make a good legislator, but not this time. It is important that the legislature become more evenly divided between the two parties to force more compromise and accomplish what Oregonians demand. One party rule in the state has engendered partisanship that have left many bitter about the state of our state.
We expect Walsh to remain involved in the community and the state. His knowledge and experience as well as his skill working with others is invaluable and should not be lost. Not being a state senator will not make Walsh any less passionate about the issues that matter most.