Two months from today, voters in Oregon's second-largest county will decide who will have their fingers on the region's biggest sprawl button.
Though Washington County, which sits on the western third of the Portland metro area, isn't facing the rocketing housing demand it once was, its political conversation continues to be dominated by issues of land use, real estate development and transportation — and its five-member board is essentially split 3-2 in favor of expanding urban growth boundaries.
Three of those seats, though, are up for grabs, and a trio of candidates — two challengers, one incumbent — are hoping to tip the county's balance against suburban expansion. Candidates in two of those races faced off at an event covered by the Oregonian Wednesday night.
County Chair Andy Duyck said that the central question of the campaign is whether the county has enough room in its urban areas to continue developing single-family homes.