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New hat tossed into Clackamas County Commission race

Karen Bowerman decides to tackle commission run

Lake Oswego City Councilor Karen Bowerman will run for a seat on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners next year.

Bowerman announced Friday that she has filed as a candidate for the position now held by moderate conservative Paul Savas, who announced last spring that he’d seek another four-year term on the board.

In a written statement, Bowerman said she was compelled to run for the county position by her concern for “costly regional projects, poor land use and transportation decisions, and the need to vigorously pursue the tremendous potential of Clackamas County to offer business growth, jobs and a healthy environment to raise families.”

"Too often a mandated, Portland-centric, regional agenda has been in conflict with the interests of Clackamas County residents, businesses and schools,” she said. “Positive changes are on the horizon, and Clackamas County is ready for new, exciting voter-supported ideas.”

Bowerman was elected to the city council in November 2012. She was among a slate of candidates running on a conservative platform that included Mayor Kent Studebaker and former councilor Mike Kehoe. Earlier in 2012 she sought to unseat U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader but lost in the Republican primary election.

Bowerman earned a Ph.D. in public administration at Texas A&M University and spent more than 30 years as a professor of business, including at California State University, San Bernardino. She lives in the First Addition neighborhood with her husband, Earl, and has four children and three grandchildren.

She is the first candidate to file for the May 2014 primary election against Savas, an Oak Grove resident and business owner.

In addition to Savas’ seat, Jim Bernard’s position on the five-member county board is up in the 2014 election. His challengers so far include Jeremy Ferguson and Stephen Bates.

Unless one candidate receives a majority of votes for a position in the primary, the top two vote-getters will proceed to the November general election.

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