Handicapping the Legislative Races

Over at his blog, Mapes on Politics, the Oregonian's Jeff Mapes takes an early look at the 2008 state legislature races. Mapes lists his predictions for the top 10 districts most likely to change party hands next year, with Democrats possibly winning 6 seats from Republicans. His top 4 districts most likely to switch parties:

1. Independent Sen. Avel Gordly of Portland is retiring and the Democrats will take her Northeast Portland seat. Gordly was a Democrat most of her political career and always voted like one. No way the Democrats lose this seat. Rep. Jackie Dingfelder, D-Portland, is favored over Gordly aide Sean Cruz in the D primary.

2. Sen. Ben Westlund, D-Bend, was a Republican when he won election to this seat in 2004 and, so far, he's having an easier time of it running for state treasurer than he would have if he tried to stay in this Deschutes County district and run for re-election. Bend City Councilwoman Chris Telfer looks pretty set to step into this seat. Oh, and she's a former Democrat who is now a Republican. How's that for irony?

3. Former House Speaker Karen Minnis, R-Wood Village, is retiring from her East Multnomah County district and Democrats are salivating. The district has a 9-point Democratic registration edge and the Democrats came within five points of knocking her off in 2006. However, Republicans have a candidate they are excited about - John Nelsen, chairman of the Reynolds School District board - while some Ds are still talking about enticing another candidate into the race. Currently, Nick Kahl, a former aide to Multnomah Commissioner Jeff Cogen, and Troutdale City Councilwoman Barbara Kyle have filed for the Democratic nomination.

4. Democratic Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego, is leaving to run for attorney general and the Republicans have hopes of a pick-up here. They've recruited Stephen Griffith, a former Portland school board chairman who happens to be a law partner of Macpherson's (in the mega law firm Stoel Rives). The GOP's problem is that Lake Oswego is no longer the spiritual home of country club Republicanism, and the district also jogs into Portland. The Democrats are Linda Brown, chair of the Lake Oswego School Board, and attorney Chris Garrett, a former aide to Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem.

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • LT (unverified)

    Apparently at the recent State Central Comm. meeting the Rural Caucus discussed starting an organization to support rural candidates the way FP supports their target candidates. It would be a welcome change to the current system.

    After conversation with Sec. of State candidates, it sounds like they might support a change in the "pass through" situation. That might also change the situation.

    And didn't Kate Brown get into the legislature the first time by defeating an incumbent with a well known political name--a 7 vote victory in the primary? Who predicted that result?

  • (Show?)

    Slightly off topic but ... irony means saying something when you mean the opposite. Like sarcasm only drier. Good to know Jeff Mapes is holding up the Oregonian's editorial commitment to precise prose diction.

    Chris Telfer & Ben Westlund make a nice conjunction, but there's nothing in the least ironic about it. Or even paradoxical, which sometimes is what people should say when they say ironic.

    Actually the picture painted of Bend seems quite consistent -- will vote R, but will vote for Rs who could be or have been Ds.

  • DAN GRADY (unverified)


    However, Republicans have a candidate they are excited about - John Nelsen, chairman of the Reynolds School District board -// Mapes On Politics

    My children had a 1 school year experience in the Reynolds School Distict at Hartley Elementary School and from our experience if you think being Chairman of that school district is credentials for a legislative seat, then it must be your practice to elect the worst in your party for a purpose.

    This school district has overtly surrendered any pretense to educate atleast at the elementary level, which means for all practical purposes the school district as a whole. They are very good at maintaining a orderly day for the children, but do nothing to challenge them, and have little or no expectations from them. The classes are obscenely over crouded, the teachers numbed with apathy, their children disparaged from a complete disconnection from any aspirations for a higher education.

    They call Reynolds High the "Drop-Out High" for a reason, and it was a struggle getting out of that neighborhood, and school district. I would recommend relocation to any student of Reynolds if an education is the parent's real goal for their child, not just a glorified babysitter.

    I promise to volunteer for door to door canvassing for the Democrat that seeks Minnis's seat with glee, as I did in the last election, but I would also be happy to get a Democrat to replace Mr. Nelson on the school board.

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

  • (Show?)

    Brent Barton should be rising on the list. He is demonstrating the chops to take on Linda Flores and has already raised over $50,000.

    Telfer in Bend doesn't have a walk, she'll have a primary.

  • Freely (unverified)
    <h2>After reading this ridiculous blog post it is clear Jeff Mapes number one source for legislative news is what he reads off the Capitol bathroom stall's walls.</h2>
in the news 2007

connect with blueoregon