Rick Metsger: for Governor or State Senator

[Editor's note: We asked this question about Vicki Walker, so we'll ask it about Rick, too. Same post, details changed.]

Rickmetsger_1There's a lot of grumbling going on amongst the political chattering class that Rick Metsger's putative run for Governor will make it much tougher to retain his State Senate seat.

Of course, a gubernatorial primary challenge against the incumbent, Ted Kulongoski, is a tall order - especially given the fundraising gap.

So, the question for Blue Oregonians... If you were advising Rick Metsger, what would you suggest as the best way for him to advance his policy goals? A very tough race against Governor Kulongoski - or a re-election campaign against whoever the Republicans put up?

Comments

  • (Show?)

    This is the second post to mention the "fundraising gap." On one level, sure $413,000's a lot of money, but honestly, I think this isn't some insurmountable hill to climb. It's really pretty remarkable - and more than a little scary - that a challenger in a contested primary (with no guarantees of even getting the nomination) has already raised more than the sitting Governor of our state.

    But to the question more directly: Rick's a talented legislator, but much more than Walker's seat, this one will be a hard one to keep. Tough decision for him to make but I appreciate that he's considering how it will threaten the Democratic majority that many people worked hard to build.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Yes, Metzger's district would be a difficult win for another Democrat. It would be sad to see him give it up, but if he's not interested in being a State Senator any more, that's how it goes.

  • Aaron (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The lack of leadership(or drive or conviction or focus) from the Governor from day 1 of session has a lot of "gnashing of teeth" from his own party members. Yes, I know that the Governor is the executive branch and the Legislature is the legislative branch of government and the good of the people with the separation of powers between both branches--but I did not see any real "common ground on issues or policies" with in the party members from either side. Just a hodge-podge tattered means of communication between the two. With only a 712 edge R's over D's in Senate District 26--the real question is how would the over 17000 voters(NAV and other party's members) vote in the general election. I think that Sen. Metsger potential run for the Governorship has both items above as valid points of concern.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
    (Show?)

    If Sen. Metzger loses the gubernatorial primary, is there any reason he can't then run for re-election as Senator?

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bert, Filing Day is Filing Day. This is what is called the "up or out" decision. If Rick files for Gov. he can't file for Sen. because a person can only file for one office on/before Filing Day.

    And as far as this: With only a 712 edge R's over D's in Senate District 26--the real question is how would the over 17000 voters(NAV and other party's members) vote in the general election. I am thrilled to have someone finally ask the real question. If almost all Republicans and almost all Democrats voted straight party line, those outside a major party would decide this Sen. seat as they decide so many other elections. Over a quarter of the voters in this district do not register with a major party, which means a straight partyline vote would give each side roughly 37% of the vote--hardly a winning majority!

  • Aaron (unverified)
    (Show?)

    LT,

    The other Senate race that is going to be interesting based on voter reg is Sen Devlin (district 19)-- the R's edge the D's there to by 788, with 16000+ voters that are NAV/Other.

    More to discuss about the "value" of the NAV's, party loyalty, and issue(s)-specific voting.

  • (Show?)

    OK, folks. Let get the spelling straight:

    It's Metsger - with an S.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    LT,

    The other Senate race that is going to be interesting based on voter reg is Sen Devlin (district 19)-- the R's edge the D's there to by 788, with 16000+ voters that are NAV/Other.

    More to discuss about the "value" of the NAV's, party loyalty, and issue(s)-specific voting. Depends on whether the Republicans nominate Tiernan again or actually nominate a civil, gracious individual with a heart and a brain--what a sarcastic person I am!

  • Chris Andersen (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Metsger will have the additional problem of competing for grassroots funds from Pete Sorenson who has already declared for the race and is actively doing fundraising as we speak.

  • J. Smalls (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I think Metsger should run for Governor. We would then have a shot at a real Democrat in his Senate seat. If we want the "independents," who do nothing more than keep the entire Senate D's on compromise mode, maybe he should just run for re-election. If we want Majority in the Senate as tough as the Repubs in the House, let's hope he runs for governor.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I think Metsger should run for Governor. We would then have a shot at a real Democrat in his Senate seat. If we want the "independents," who do nothing more than keep the entire Senate D's on compromise mode, maybe he should just run for re-election. If we want Majority in the Senate as tough as the Repubs in the House, let's hope he runs for governor.

    Are you saying that every voting NAV is who "keeps the entire Senate Ds on compromise mode"?

    What would a "real Democrat" have done differently given the reality of the Minnis/ Scott House?

    I react to the term "real Democrat " because when I was on the State Central Comm. and doing lots of volunteer work (but exercising the right to choose for myself which primary candidates to back, thinking for myself and not letting resolutions passed in State Central Comm. tell me what to think) there were people who were never around to do much of the actual work, but by golly they chose the "right" primary candidates and were on the winning side of a resolution in State Central Committee. So enlighten us: which bills would a "real" Democrat have supported/ opposed, and what else would that person have done differently in the 2005 session?

  • (Show?)

    Exactly LT. What is a RealDemocrat?

    If a RealDemocrat had run for Rick's seat last time, we'd probably have a Real Republican (Snowbird Bob Smith who lives in Arizona and retains an address in the Senate District) holding down that seat.

    As a constituent of Rick's I'll offer a couple of observations:

    The two house seats that comprise Rick's senate district are held by Patti Smith (R-Corbett) and Linda Flores (R-Clackamas). One of them would be the odds on favorite to run for the senate seat vacated by Rick. There would be lots of money available as history shows. Flores' race was one of the most expensive house races ever.

    Rick has name and face recognition and he won SD 26 the first time with virtually no help. He personally knocked on around 12,000 doors.

    He is well connected for fund raising. If enough people perceive Teddy K as being vulnerable, Rick could be awash in cash.

    <hr/>

    If he runs for governor, we in the Senate District may have a trick or two up our sleeves (and no, I won't elaborate.....)

  • Aaron (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Pat, we in the Senate District may have a trick or two up our sleeves (and no, I won't elaborate

    HMMMM..sneaky you be?!

    As I stated before SD26 is going to be a rough road based on voter reg, with or without Sen Metsger and "any potential new comer" on the ticket for the D's.

  • Run Rick Run! (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Of course it will be difficult to retain Metsger's Senate Seat. Has everyone forgotten that Rick Metsger is the only reason why Democrats hold that seat? We are talking about a district with a 20-30 year history of electing Republicans, that is, before Metsger ran for it. And it will likely go R again when he steps down, whichever election cycle it happens. Democratic control of his seat is not his responsibility, it is our Party's responsibility.

    As for the election for Governor, I think the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. I have seen the Governor's behavior over the past 2 sessions and it does not invoke my confidence in a 2nd term.

    I have seen Senator Metsger go up against the odds in the past; to win his Senate Seat, to get bills past in a deadlocked Senate and a Republican controlled House, and most recently he went up against powerful utility companies and closed a loophole that allowed them to take hundreds of millions of dollars annually from tax payers. And you know what? He has prevailed. Not only am I confident in his abilities and values, I am inspired by his vision and would really like to see what he could do for us in the center office.

    We need to elect a candidate with vision, one who will show us where our state needs to go, how we are going to get there, and how we will pay for it. A candidate that isn't afraid of expending some political capitol for the good of Oregon. There is no one in state government who will better represent our Democratic values and I have no doubt he would mop the floor with Mannix or Saxton in the general.

    If Senator Metsger puts in his bid for Governor, he will get my vote.

open discussion

connect with blueoregon