The race for the Democratic nomination for Oregon governor is presenting a dilemma for me. When Bill Bradbury filed to run, I knew right away who I was going to support. Or, at least I thought I did.

I was a fan of Bradbury, stemming from the work he had done as Oregon’s Secretary of State from 1999 to 2009. He had innovative ideas about running elections in the state, having developed our current vote-by-mail system. This system included as many citizens as possible in the election process. This and other election reforms he introduced were an improvement to the Oregon elections system. Yet, the one thing that impressed me the most is that as he did his work, he did it with an eye toward fairness to all, regardless to their party. When necessary, he could set aside his own needs and create an environment that was fair to all of us. This, coupled with his commitment to education and the physical environment, made him a very attractive candidate. I knew that he would choose to run for governor someday, and that I could support him when he did.

This, however, was my preference until John Kitzhaber entered the race. Kitzhaber has, of course, served as Oregon governor from 1995 to 2003. He did a great job in office, his work in creating the Oregon Health Plan is legendary. He has also shown that he is equally committed to business, education, and the environment. He can benefit from his past experience as governor, yet he brings new ideas to the table for the present.

There are those who will question whether he was at his best as governor to the very end of his last term. In fact, there were signs toward the end that his opposition was getting the better of him. During the time since he has been governor, he has been working with many groups with the goal of bringing better health and better health care to all of us. With that experience, and a continued commitment to the needs of the citizens of Oregon, I believe that John Kitzhaber is well equipped to serve the needs of Oregonians during another term as governor. The new and refreshed John Kitzhaber

The fact is that I could support either one of these candidates to serve as the next governor of Oregon. I suppose that it is great that we have two wonderfully qualified candidates from which to choose. But when we put the two of them side-by-side, I believe the balance leans slightly toward Dr Kitzhaber. Please join me in voting for John Kitzhaber in the upcoming Democratic Primary Election.