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Dembrow, two others tapped as candidates to replace Dingfelder

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - State Rep. Michael Dembrow is the No. 1 pick among three candidates to replace former state Sen. Jackie Dingfelder, who resigned in October to take a job on Mayor Charlie Hales' staff.Multnomah County Democrats nominated Friday state Rep. Michael Dembrow, American Sign Language interpreter and teacher Cheryl Meredith Hall and film producer Enrique Arias as candidates to replace former state Sen. Jackie Dingfelder, who resigned in October to take a job on Portland Mayor Charlie Hales’ staff.

Nearly three dozen Democratic precinct leaders gathered Nov. 8 to nominate the three for the Senate District 23 seat left vacant by Dingfelder’s resignation. Multnomah County commissioners will select a candidate to replace Dingfelder.

Dembrow, selected as the No. 1 choice among precinct leaders, has represented Portland’s House District 45 since 2008. He has chairman of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, and a member of Democratic leadership in the House.

Hall, who lives in Lents with her wife and two dogs, is a teacher of American Sign Language at the Western Region Interpreter Education Center. She also is a sign language interpreter who also serves as the Equality PAC chairwoman for Basic Rights Oregon.

She was the No. 2 choice among precinct leaders.

The son of Cuban immigrants, Enrique Arias is a freelance film producer and small-business owner of a film production company. He also is a professional actor who has worked on TNT’s “Leverage” and NBC’s “Grimm.” His wife is a Portland Public School teacher at Faubian School.

Arias was the No. 3 choice for the Senate position.