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My name is Ray Drayton. I am a business owner and landowner in Lincoln City. I have known Russ Baldwin for more than 25 years. He has been my attorney in several land use cases. Russ Baldwin is a man of honesty and integrity, qualities which a judge should have. His nature is to work hard, to finish what he starts, and to go beyond what is expected when seeking fairness under the law. He is well mannered and polite, yet not afraid to stand up for people pursuing justice.
Russ Baldwin has litigated against some of the deepest pockets in Oregon, like the Department of Justice and ODOT when they condemned my land for their own purposes. My constitutional rights were violated, but because Russ Baldwin knows the law so well, not even ODOT’s team of lawyers could stop him. He is that committed to fairness. As a judge he will also be sure that all sides are heard fairly in court. It wasn’t money I wanted from ODOT, it was saving my 180 year old growth spruce trees—which to me are priceless. He fought to protect these beautiful trees by negotiating with ODOT to re-evaluate their road project, which they did.
Now I have inner peace knowing that these trees will live for generations to come. You can’t just replace a 180 year old tree, let alone a whole row of them. Our environment, the animals and the earth all benefit by conserving what man cannot create. Anyone can build a road, but not a beautiful specimen of Life that creates such healing for those that live among these giants. This was a true win-win, as both sides found common ground for the common good. Communities can grow and thrive while protecting our environment for generations to come. Russ Baldwin is a forward thinker, seeking positive solutions. That will be the kind of judge Russ Baldwin will be, protecting our environment. I can’t thank him enough.