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Anderson overcomes fellow CPA's challenge

With about 50.5 percent of the vote, Clackamas County Treasurer Shari Anderson of Oregon City appeared to receive a countywide mandate to continue overseeing the county’s $270 million reserves and investment portfolio without facing a runoff in November.

Holding the position since 1999, Anderson overcame her first ballot-box challenge as an incumbent by a 9-percent margin according to early returns.

Before this election, Anderson acknowledged that few people have ever heard of her, and she argued that’s a good thing, because she’s never gotten into trouble. She also contended that it was important for voters to learn about challenger James Gleason’s troubling history, given the crucial role of ethical behavior in the position of county treasurer. Anderson received a statewide award for an “Outstanding Contribution to Public Finance,” which was unrelated to her establishing an internal hotline for reporting suspected fraud. The Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association award recognized her work in amending ORS 295 in the 2007 legislative session. Before the legislation was passed, government deposits were collateralized at 20 percent, and now they are collateralized at essentially 100 percent via a shared collateral pool.

During her campaign, Anderson addressed Gleason’s attacks on her in the Voters’ Pamphlet. In past failed campaigns, he has said that he is “former CPA,” but he has now completed continuing education credits to become an active CPA again. The state suspended his license because he aided insider trading while controller of Hollywood Video during the 1990s. In arguing that Anderson should be improving the investment returns of the county’s cash reserves, Gleason erred in the Voters’ Pamphlet by saying the county’s investment income returned only 0.29 percent when it had in fact earned 0.50 percent.

Myhanh Best, another treasurer candidate who arrived as a political refugee from Vietnam in 1992, had said that she’d take a 20 percent pay cut until county budgets were back on track, but she didn’t attract the attention of many voters, earning about 5 percent of the vote compared with Gleason’s 43 percent.



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