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Our view: Positive about Bates

We were inclined to endorse incumbent Sen. Alan Bates for re-election as this campaign season got under way. If we had any doubts, they disappeared as the smell of his opponent's negative campaign wafted across the region.

Bates, a Democrat, is an honorable man who has tried to do the right thing for Oregonians while serving in the Legislature since 2001. He has worked to improve human services and to save critical treatment programs even as the state's revenues shriveled. He has been an advocate for education, from K-12 through college, and a wise steward of the dwindling dollars the state had at its disposal as the Great Recession set in.

And, of course, he has been an architect of health care reform that actually works. Cover Oregon may have been temporarily undone by computer problems, but the recasting of care for Oregon Health Plan recipients has been wildly successful, with costs reduced and results improved. The idea of coordinating care to treat the entire patient means fewer relapses and better lives for thousands of Oregonians — and despite Cover Oregon's woes, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians now have health insurance.

It's hard to say what Bate's GOP opponent, Dave Dotterrer, stands for, because his campaign has spent its time and money attacking Bates with gutter-level ads that contain, at best, half truths. Voters who support Dotterrer are endorsing that kind of sleazy campaigning.

Better that they support a man who produces positive results. Better that they return Alan Bates to the Oregon Senate.