The race for House District 55 is noteworthy for how much Republican incumbent Mike McLane and Democratic challenger Karen Rippberger talk about the same thing: local control.

McLane, 53, says “one size does not fit all” when it comes to state land-use and water law. Rippberger, 63, emphasized that same theme when we spoke with her about schools, land-use and more. “The laws that work for Portland do not work here,” she said.

Regardless of that similarity, McLane is the best person to represent the district. His position as the House minority leader gives his district and the region a powerful voice in Salem. He has a proven record of using it effectively.

Rippberger has worked as a teacher at pretty much every level but the eighth grade. She calls herself an “economic refugee” from California to La Pine. Most recently, she has helped teach English online to students in China.

One of her many goals is to convince the Legislature to pass laws giving local school districts more control of what is taught and over testing. She believes that districts know better than the state how to balance student requirements. It could be a philosophy of education that many in the district would support.

But the fact is McLane, an attorney living in Powell Butte, has delivered again and again for the district. Some of his accomplishments are more familiar, such as what he did to protect data centers in Prineville from paying millions more in property taxes after promises of tax exemptions. In the short 2018 session, McLane also secured passage for a bill to make members of the Oregon National Guard eligible for tuition assistance to go to college. Oregon was one of the only states not to offer that benefit.

We also want to direct your attention to a great example that you may not have heard about. McLane made a big difference for Crescent and clean water in the Deschutes Basin. He worked to get $5 million in 2017 for the unincorporated community in Klamath County to develop a sewer system. All residents and business were on septic. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality found fecal contamination at some times of the year in the groundwater. That endangered public health and water quality of the Deschutes River. It also put a halt to further development in the community — without a solution. A sewer system fixes that.

McLane knows what it takes to make things happen in the Legislature and he is in a position to continue to do it for House District 55. Vote for McLane.

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