District 7: Hanna.
Shortly after his unanimous selection by Lane and Douglas county commissioners in March to replace Republican Rep. Jeff Kruse, Bruce Hanna discovered there's no handbook explaining the basics of being a state representative.
So Hanna set about learning the ropes the old-fashioned way, by wearing out shoe leather and tire rubber introducing himself to his District 7 constituents from Tiller in Douglas County all the way up to Blue River in Lane County.
Though he hasn't had time to build much of a legislative portfolio, the easygoing Republican has demonstrated a solid work ethic and willingness to listen to the diverse voices in his sprawling district. Voters should give him a chance to show them what he can do with a full two-year term.
Hanna, president of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Roseburg, is opposed by Democrat Shirley Cairns, 67, a tax consultant and financial planner who has lived on her farm in Oakland for 41 years. She is a knowledgeable advocate for education with strong experience as a teacher and more than a decade of membership on the Umpqua Community College board.
Cairns and Hanna share a lot of common ground on education and economic development issues but part company on the fundamentals of state spending. Cairns favors the Democratic strategy of focusing on what services are needed and then figuring out how to pay for them. Hanna is a fan of the "bucket plan," which would cap state spending and create a rainy day fund with revenue that exceeds projections.
Voters in District 7 are more in sync with Hanna's conservative approach to state spending. But tax aversion aside, Hanna believes education, health and human services and public safety are core functions of state government and shouldn't be cut further.
To provide schools with adequate time to plan, Hanna favors having the Legislature establish education budgets first. He says the best way to increase funding for education is to strengthen Oregon's overall economy. A rainy day fund would provide a safety net during downturns.
Hanna, 44, landed a seat on the House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, a good fit for the region he represents. He pointed to bipartisan efforts on Public Employee Retirement System reform as one of the successes in an otherwise long and contentious 2003 session.
District 7 residents will be well served by Hanna's commitment to bipartisan compromise as well as his pledge to make the most of their tax dollars. Voters should elect Hanna to the Oregon House of Representatives.
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|Title Annotation:||Editorials; Roseburg Republican a good fit for big district|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Oct 13, 2004|
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