There is an adage that says "how you run for office reflects how you will serve in office,” and my husband, Alan Bates, modeled that belief: He said he would rather lose on the high ground than win on the low ground.

This is why it was so disappointing to see Tonia Moro’s television ad and direct-mail piece targeting Alan DeBoer for two issues on which DeBoer had little or no say. It’s upsetting to hear of commitments to follow in the shoes of Alan Bates, without understanding that to follow in his shoes, first and foremost, means a campaign of civility and a willingness to cross party lines for better outcomes.

The first time Alan ran for State Senate, outside interests wanted to control his campaign from afar. Alan realized that maintaining control of his campaign was as important as maintaining control once elected. That Alan best knew the wishes and values of his constituents and was willing to battle the powerful interests during an election, carried through to his service in the Senate. After all, if you cannot stand up to special interests and control your campaign during an election, then how can you stand up to them once elected?

When Alan ran against Jim Wright, a good man who had contributed time and money to causes we all support, outside interests wanted to send negative mail that attacked Jim in Alan’s name. When Alan refused, and his campaign held the line, the upstate lobby closed their checkbooks and announced if Alan did not fire his team, the checkbooks would never open. Alan responded to the threat by saying he would stay with the people who brought him to the dance.

In many ways, Alan DeBoer is similar to Jim Wright in that he has contributed time and money to important local causes and did so working side-by-side with Democrats and Republicans. But where he is similar to Alan Bates is just as important: DeBoer refuses to go negative and is keeping full control of his campaign. That deserves respect.

I could fill the pages of this newspaper with legislation that my husband passed and how each piece improved the lives of millions of Oregonians. He fought for school funding, affordable health care, our environment, free-flowing rivers and equal rights. His core values were unwavering, even when they went against his party at the Capitol. He believed you run to serve; you never serve to run.

— Laurie Bates lives in Medford.