Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), the former KATU (Channel 2) reporter and current head of the Senate Education Committee did not have to work hard in his last election in District 14 (Beaverton, Raleigh Hills, Garden Home, Aloha and Murray Hill) in 2008, when he defeated his GOP opponent, Lisa Michaels, by more than a two-to-one margin.
In 2012, his opponent might prove a little tougher. Gary Coe, an owner and investor in several towing industry businesses, including Retriever Towing and Speed's Supertow, recently registered to challenge Hass. Coe has been a regular contributor to campaigns and City of Portland races in the past. Although he is a rookie candidate, Coe served two terms as president of Portland's Central East Side Industrial Council, a group that has been involved in numerous political issues, including urban renewal and light-rail.
Coe also brings financial resources and a strong small-business background to the race. He'll need that and more in a district where Democrats currently out-number Republicans 29,000 to 19,000.