If the GOP abandons Mike Erickson, who else might run?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

So, who will the Republicans put up to run for Darlene Hooley's congressional seat - now that she's decided she won't run for a seventh term?

Back in September, the Oregon GOP and the NRCC were pretty damn clear: Mike Erickson is the guy. Here's what the AP reported then:

The Oregon Republican Party is backing Erickson, which could bring national Republican funds for his campaign even before the primary.

"We're allowing them to come in and choose early," giving him "favored status" in the party, said Vance Day, Oregon Republican Party chairman.

But now that Hooley is out, it seems they're taking another look. As PolitickerOR reported:

“We’re not endorsing,” said Oregon Republican Party Communications Director Brianne Hyder.

“The NRCC does not pre-primary endorse,” wrote National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee Press Secretary Ken Spain in an email.

Oregon5gop_3Why would they be bailing out on him? Well, despite the unqualified support he had last fall, he was only up to $130,898 cash-on-hand as of December 31. Politico.com reported that he loaned himself another $340,000 today -- which has a whiff of desperation about it. Not to mention those lingering ethical questions and rumors about his troubled past.

Certainly, there are plenty of Republican possibilities. As Senator Ron Wyden's chief-of-staff Josh Kardon told Jeff Mapes yesterday, there's a pretty strong GOP bench in the 5th District.

One former OR-5 candidate we won't likely see... Craig Schelske. The one-time candidate is no longer married to country music star Sara Evans and her money, after a much-publicized incident that resulted in a restraining order and much hullabaloo on Entertainment Tonight and similar venues.

If we're going to hang on to Darlene's seat, we've got our work cut out for us.

Comments

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    I kinda figured the Republicans would want to nominate Jackie Winters.

    You know, holding this seat isn't going to be a gimme, but it's not going to be all that difficult either. Some of the comments yesterday were almost panicky. We've got a D+1 district that was won by the Republicans exactly once in the last nine elections (in the Newtist apocolypse of 1994 at that, which was kinda an abberation), and which has been trending ever-bluer for a decade. It's a Democratic wave year, the Republicans are fractured in the district, statewide and nationwide, and the DCCC has a cash advantage and so far no vulnerable open seats to defend other than this one. The odds are with us, really. Work hard and don't take things for granted, but be brave.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    Kari, of the possible Democratic candidates, who is the most liberal? Thanks. (please don't include out-of-district people...)

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    BB, let's take that conversation over to the Democratic candidates thread.

    Naismith.... good call. I'll add her to the list. Not sure how her health is.

    I've also added Rep. Fred Girod, who lost in the primary to Jim Bunn in 1994.

  • Rande McMurphy (unverified)
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    I consider Scott Bruun the most formidable of the Republican contenders. He's among the best Republican legislators and is probably frustrated with his minority status. However, it would not surprise to learn that Bruun and Erickson are friends, making Bruun unlikely to challenge him.

    Even if not this year, we will have to deal with Bruun one of these days.

    Imagine another open legislative seat for the Republicans to defend.

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    A contested Republican primary is probably a good thing, especially if it involves several people having to spend a pile of cash.

    One of the few advantages D's have in this race is that the DCCC is flush with cash, so having the R's blow their wad fighting each other would make that more prominent.

    Plus, this is a very diverse district, and we would likely see the R's fight along ideological lines, which is always a plus and the bonds of their unholy marriage are being tested in this election cycle.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Don't forget that the insults Zupancic threw at Jackie Winters in that contested primary not only caused him to lose Marion County in the primary and the general, there were those friends of Jackie so angry at him that Jackie For Congress bumper stickers stayed on bumpers after the primary.

    And in a contested election, all the people who are not strong partisans can hear what the candidates really think and use that as a way to decide in the fall.

  • Remember (unverified)
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    Just remember the old saying, "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line." I find it difficult to believe that the GOP is going to allow a bloody primary battle. The Dems should really consider getting behind one candidate so we don't come out bruised in May.

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    I suppose at the moment Girod is a rep, but he was appointed to the Senate last month, to fill Beyer's seat. It's not up in 08, is it?

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    and the funny part about all this is that the ORGOP is currently spouting about how Darlene must have left the race because Erickson is such a strong challenger. Yeah, so strong everybody and her sister is looking to run against him in a primary...!

    Maybe this time he'll earn enough contributions from other people besides himself to exceed that stunning 11% non-Erickson donor ratio from '06! :)

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Bruun ran a decent long-shot campaign against Earl in the 3rd district in '96, winning 26% of the vote, so he may be considering this run seriously.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Just remember the old saying, "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line." I find it difficult to believe that the GOP is going to allow a bloody primary battle. The Dems should really consider getting behind one candidate so we don't come out bruised in May."

    So, if Vance Day says to support Erickson and both Boquist and Brunn also run, loyal GOP members will be like sheep and all vote for Erickson? Looks to me like the GOP hasn't "fallen in line" in the presidential race. Maybe that saying is outdated.

    So, it would be wrong to have a scenario like 2nd Cong. District in 2004 where candidates debated issues during the primary because we all have to get behind one candidate early?

    Primary candidates shouldn't be tested?

    That sounds like the rhetoric which said no one deserved any attention but Bruggere in 1996 and we all know how that turned out!

    The very first 5th Dist. primary was marked by outspoken stands on issues, and lots of debates and joint appearances, but without a lot of attacks. We lost that general election campaign by a handful of votes per precinct, but not because there was more than one outspoken candidate in the primary. We only lost that election because of stupid mistakes the candidate made.

  • ollie (unverified)
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    Fred Girod is now a senator. He was sworn in early last week.

  • ollie (unverified)
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    Fred Girod is now a senator. He was sworn in early last week.

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    Thanks, Ollie. That's fixed.

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    "Thanks, Ollie. That's fixed."

    :( ?

    Posted by: torridjoe | Feb 8, 2008 12:00:25 PM

    I suppose at the moment Girod is a rep, but he was appointed to the Senate last month, to fill Beyer's seat. It's not up in 08, is it?

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    I suppose at the moment Girod is a rep, but he was appointed to the Senate last month, to fill Beyer's seat. It's not up in 08, is it?

    Whenever there is a vacancy, the seat is automatically up at the next election.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Even people who don't agree on much else seem to agree this could be the most exciting election in 40 years.

    It would be good to see a GOP hotly contested primary for this nomination, so that we might actually have some discussion of issues. I think Bruun or Boquist might be the most interesting candidates: younger, office holders, able to discuss issues intelligently.

    And for anyone concerned about the Iraq War and whether their friends/loved ones might have to do a 3rd or 4th tour of duty, I just did a web search and found this about Erickson and Iraq:

    http://www.clackamasreview.com/news/story.php?story_id=1161030103304861

    In addition to his focus on efficiency, Erickson has staked out positions on the political issues of the day, including terrorism and the war in Iraq. “Whether you agree or disagree with how the war began, the fact is that we’re there now,” he said. “We need to protect our troops, and we need to see progress over there. The war is funded by a vote of congress, and that’s not going to continue indefinitely unless we see some progress.” Asked to define progress in the increasingly unpopular war, Erickson said, “Progress will be when our troops are back in their bunkers in the Green Zone, not going out on patrol themselves. This will be achieved by training the Iraqi Police so that they can go after the terrorists on their own. “When our troops aren’t actually functioning as the police themselves, then they can come home.” <<<

    Sounds rather vague to me. Would Erickson agree with McCain's "failure in Iraq would be catastrophic" so no one should discuss leaving Iraq anytime soon? Does he support full funding of veterans programs and would he support full implementation of the Wounded Warrior Comm. proposals? Or are other things more important?

    Compare that to Boquist's speech on that 2007 House Resolution (I wish the text of the speech was online somewhere) and decide if Erickson or the state rep. who served in Iraq would be better suited to Congress.

    In previous decades we managed to have serious discussions of issues. It would be nice to see such serious discussions in the 2008 Congressional elections as opposed to some of the nonsense we have seen recently. Wasn't there an anti-Hooley ad in 2006 by some 527 type group which was funded by some of the same people who funded the Swifties? Such ads try to short circuit debate with a "we're good, they're bad" mentality, and then Republicans wonder why with few exceptions ( US Chuck Hagel on the national level, St. Sen. Frank Morse who did such a great job on PCOL, for instance) are seen as people who prefer bullying to serious debate.

    I know those kinds of ads are independent expenditures, but do they really help the candidate the funders hope to help?

    It is going to be really interesting to see Saxby Chambliss run for re-election this year. Those anti-Max Cleland ads (whoever funded them) are still remembered in disgust by more people than he probably would like to know. Let's not tolerate anything like that in Oregon this year, OR anyone who says "but the other side..." or "politics ain't beanbag". At a committee meeting of the Public Comm. on the Legislature in early 2006, one of the commissioners was still angry about an attack during the 1990 campaign and said so publicly. It was run by a campaign which did so poorly it became a laughingstock, by the way. So let's get rid of the idea, once and for all, that "negative campaigns work".

    <h2>In a few specific cases (generally a known against an unknown, a highly charged partisan atmosphere, sometimes just sheer stupidity on the part of campaigns) a candidate won after negative campaigns were run against the opposing candidate. But as often as not they backfire. People who see their friends attacked often double the amount of time or money they were already contributing to a campaign. And independent voters aren't likely to vote in favor of what is seen as the nasty side--and that decision is made by individual voters.</h2>

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