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Howe again challenges Esquivel in District 6

Lynn Howe, who ran for House District 6 in Medford in 2008, is officially a candidate again for the representative seat held by Republican Sal Esquivel.

The 64-year-old Medford resident said the work she accomplished during her first campaign has given her the confidence to make another run.

"It gives me room for a second try," she said.

Esquivel had a 2,000-vote advantage over Howe in the last election.

She criticized Esquivel for failing to vote for services that affect people in Medford, such as expanding the Oregon Health Plan to cover more children and for voting against mortgage reform.

"These things and jobs are the number-one issues for people in our area," she said.

Howe said she expects the 2010 race to resemble the last one in character. "I think we had a pretty civil race and a pretty civil discourse," she said.

Esquivel said he has filed for re-election and brushed off rumors that he might run for Jackson County commissioner.

"We've got many things in the state right now to take care of," he said.

The 61-year-old Medford resident, who is in his third term, said more fiscal responsibility and leadership are needed in Salem.

He said Howe's criticism of him for failing to vote for mortgage reform and health care for children shows she isn't aware of the details of the bills and the problems inherent in them.

Esquivel said he supported bills that made sense fiscally while providing better service to the public. He cited one bill he supported that would allow health policies to be obtained out of state, lowering an individual policy from about $1,000 to $400.

He said he often voted against bills, including education funding, because they didn't provide sufficient revenue to cover the costs.

In general, he said government is spending way more than it should for services, citing in particular the state Department of Human Services, which he said could be overspending by $1 billion based on an estimate he's reviewed.

"Government can't continue to grow and grow and grow while the revenue shrinks," he said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476, or e-mail dmann@mailtribune.com.

Howe again challenges Esquivel in District 6