Rob Brading: Give Nick Kahl the same help you gave me.

By Rob Brading of Gresham, Oregon. In 2004 and 2006, Rob was the Democratic legislative candidate who ran against Speaker Karen Minnis - losing by just 700 votes in the most expensive legislative race in Oregon history.

Hello BlueOregon Readers,

We accomplished so much two years ago.

Taking the majority in the State House was not only a victory for our party but also a victory for Oregon. Although I didn't win, I am very proud of the part I played in helping other candidates win their House races. Among other things, our Democratic majority put an end to predatory lending, won greater equality and protections for the GLBT community, increased funding for our schools, and fought back the assault on our State's comprehensive land-use policy.

Despite all that was accomplished, much remains to be done. At the top of my list is finally sending a Democratic Representative to Salem from House District 49. After more than two decades of occupation by Karen and John Minnis, it's long past time for a change. This is the year we finally win that seat. And Nick Kahl is the candidate to do it.

Nick is working tirelessly to win this seat. As a lifelong East County resident with strong family ties to the district, Nick is perfectly situated to win this seat. But more importantly, he is working his tail off. He is knocking on hundreds of doors every week and when he isn't knocking he is fundraising.

I have no doubt that Nick can win this seat – but just as in my races, he can't do it without you. I would never have come so close to unseating the Speaker if it weren't for all the amazing support I received – hard work knocking on doors, generous financial contributions and enthusiasm. I will always be grateful for – and honored by -- the support I received in from you in my two campaigns.

I'm asking you to do the same this year, to give Nick the same level of support that you gave me. I know that's a lot to ask because you gave so much to me. But, even though I'm not running this election, I know that winning District 49 is just as important as it was when I ran.

Nick's opponent was handpicked by Karen Minnis and is being funded by the usual Republican players and has hired the same political consultant who smeared me. Some things never change.

But their tactics won't work this year.

This is the year we beat them.

This is the year change and hope finally win out.

This is the year we take House District 49 and put it back into the hands of the people who live there.

It is time for a voice in Salem that will stand up for working people.

But it cannot happen without your help.

One of the biggest things I learned from my campaigns is how much difference EVERY effort, every call, every door knocked, every contribution makes a difference that I promise you is much larger than you realize. Never underestimate your power to make a difference. I'm asking you to become a regular volunteer for Nick –– once a week, once a month -- however often you can give your time, it will make all the difference.

I am asking you to donate because every dollar raised will help Nick fight back against the smears we all know are coming. I am asking you to help win District 49. I am asking you to give your wholehearted support to Nick Kahl. Get out there and volunteer. Donate what you can. Get involved. Nick will make us all proud.

Contact the campaign by phone: 503-481-7264 or sign up on Nick's website,

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    Great post, Rob.

    Nick is one of the most thoughtful, dedicated and enthusiastic candidates I've ever seen and we should do everything we can to help him out.

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    Nick Kahl is the absolute embodiment of East County politics. He knows the people, and he cares about their future. Anything you and I can do to help Nick win in HD 49 is needed. If youu've got a spare weekend, or a couple of bucks to send his way, do it!

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    Nick has earned my support with his straightforward approach to politics; he works hard, tells it like it is, and holds the people around him to the same standard. It was an honor to serve with him as an officer of the Democratic Party, and I look forward to seeing the impact he'll make on the Oregon legislature. He's one of three candidates on whom I'm focusing my efforts this cycle (the other two being Maren Lundgren and Jeff Merkley). I hope you'll do everything you're comfortable with doing to get him elected - and then join me in doing a little bit more.

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    Nick is a phenomenal candidate and will make a phenomenal legislator. He's unabashedly authentic and unafraid to tell anyone where he stands. While he does get doors slammed in his face by single-issue voters who are appalled at his pro-choice or his pro-GLBT civil rights stands, he doesn't back away an inch from his ideals.

    Ultimately, even a few of the single issue folk will engage a bit and realize how authentically committed Nick is to the Gresham/Troutdale/Fairview community, and to Oregon.

    Nick is the perfect candidate not only for progressives, but for the folks in a community that could use a little love from the state in addressing issues of crime and safety.

    Now we need to give Nick Kahl a little love in terms support from our feet or our wallet.

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    I got to know Nick well when he worked in my office. He's the real deal: smart, hard working, compassionate and deeply committed to social justice. He will be a great representative for East County, but more than that he will be a great leader for all of Oregon.

    Go, Nick GO!!

  • Susan Silodor (unverified)

    Thanks, Rob. Nick is, indeed, the best choice for the state legislature. Not only does he know East County and the particular challenges faced by his community, he understands the pressures and constraints that have made it difficult to provide adequate resources to the area. But Nick is smart and tenacious, and determined to ensure public safety, affordable health care and living wage jobs. What more could we ask for?

  • Laura Taylor (unverified)

    I got to know Nick in law school and I could not have been happier when he told me he was running for this seat. I helped Rob in 2006 and am going to work my butt off for Nick this year too. I've already contributed and I would encourage anyone who can to do the same. He is a great guy, incredibly smart and unbelievably passionate about his district and the people who live there. He is running because he has a genuine desire to make things better for the people of HD 49. I cannot wait to work with him in Salem next year, but he needs everyone's support to get there!

  • Jules Kopel-Bailey (unverified)

    Nick Kahl never ceases to impress me. Canvassing with him was a real treat. He has an incredible ability to engage with voters, and can drop into policy details at the drop of a hat. He'd be a star in the legislature from any district, but the contrast between the dark days of Karen Minnis and the positive force Nick will bring should make any Oregonian drop what they are doing to come out and canvass for him and give as much as they can.

    I'll be out there on the doorstep with Nick this Wednesday. Will you come you, too?

  • Brian Troyer (unverified)

    This is so important. Nick will champion the values that East County supports, and will fight for his district. If you think he's working tirelessly now, you're going to love when you see him in office.

    Nick's goals for the county are spot on, but I've known him since we were living in a dorm together in college, and I want to say something about his character. On top of his great professional skills, Nick is a kind, caring and trustworthy friend. Not only will he bring his drive and passion to this post, he'll also be dedicated and loyal to his constituents and his conscience. East County could not have a better opportunity for the future than Nick Kahl.

  • Brian Troyer (unverified)

    This is so important. Nick will champion the values that East County supports, and will fight for his district. If you think he's working tirelessly now, you're going to love when you see him in office.

    Nick's goals for the county are spot on, but I've known him since we were living in a dorm together in college, and I want to say something about his character. On top of his great professional skills, Nick is a kind, caring and trustworthy friend. Not only will he bring his drive and passion to this post, he'll also be dedicated and loyal to his constituents and his conscience. East County could not have a better opportunity for the future than Nick Kahl.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)

    Thanks so much, Rob, for this post. Nick is, indeed, the real deal---passionate, articulate, knowledgeable, and approachable. While I'm sorry Rob wasn't able to run again for this seat, I am thrilled that Nick decided to run. We need, more than ever, to give East County a strong voice in the legislature and Nick will do that---and more.

    Please join us in helping get Nick elected:

    Canvasses: Wednesdays 5-8pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm, Sundays 4-8pm Canvassers gather at Nick's Campaign HQ---107 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale.

    PhoneBanks: Mondays (at DPO Office, 232 NE 9th) 6-9 Tuesdays (at Nick's Campaign HQ,107 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale)

    This Sunday,Aug 17th, will be a phonebank instead of a canvass, due to the heat. Come to the DPO this Sunday, 4-8 and phonebank for NICK!

    The reign of Karen Minnis is over (and none too soon)--let's elect NICK KAHL from HOUSE DISTRICT 49!!!

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    Nick Kahl has a deep understanding of the needs of his district and strong compassion for the people who live there. I know he'll never stop fighting for them. He is a very rare find.

    Anyone with a free evening or weekend, regardless of where you live, should volunteer for this campaign. (I'm sure money helps, too, for those who can spare it.)

  • hmmm (unverified)

    That's funny. All the accolades for Nick Kahl, when all I've heard about the kid is he is a live with mom part time law school student who knows basically nothing about anything.

    So I went to his web site. Read all about Nick. And I found a bunch of lipstick applied to a very thin professional history, and an utterly superficial discussion of issues.

    Guess what? He is up against a very accomplished elected official who has broad appeal across party lines. The difference in gravitas between these two guys is striking.

    Nick Kahl better avoid joint appearances, because his stature will shrink even further when compared to the physical and intellectual stature of John Nelsen.

    Thanks for fielding this guy in this key seat! You gave us a very good chance of keeping it!

  • LT (unverified)

    hmmmm Did you see this on Nelsen's website?

    "Of Minnis, his well-known predecessor whose race in 2006 was the most expensive state House race in Oregon history, he says they have "style differences. But I would be a fool not to take advantage of her experience, knowledge, and wisdom," on the campaign trail."

    He's running by praising the wisdom of Minnis???

    Also, don't forget that there are some exciting legislative races in the Marion/Polk area, which might just help the effort to gain 36 Dem. House seats!

  • Travis Wells (unverified)

    The terrible reign of Minnis leadership is finally coming to an end. East county, and indeed Oregon, cannot afford to replace the Minnis seat with Karen's personal choice for succession. But we are lucky, because not only do we have a candidate to run against this right wing agenda, we have someone I believe to be up on the top of the list as far as candidates for any office go. Nick Kahl is a real voice that speaks for HD49, and his voice has real answers. I strongly encourage everyone from the district to find the time somewhere to put in at least a couple hours for Nick, and if you aren't part of 49, come on out, we'd love to have your help getting Nick elected.

  • Erin Devaney (unverified)

    I just want to echo the above sentiments regarding Nick. I have had the pleasure of knowing Nick for a little under a year, but in that time he has worked tirelessly every day; he won a highly contested primary, and is a few months away from being one of the youngest and most ambitious legislators in Oregon. KC is right on about Nick-- he is unwavering and steadfast in his views. He has been unwilling to compromise his core values in order to win this election. He embodies ethics that people twice his age in politics have yet to master. Nick is a true man of the people. I am so proud to call him my friend, and I cannot wait to see what changes he makes to move East County, and Oregon, forward.

  • Erin Devaney (unverified)

    Oh yeah-- and he cannot talk to every voter on his own (although he is certainly trying!) He absolutely needs YOUR HELP to ensure victory. So take a few hours out of each weekend to get Nick elected. Canvass, make phone calls, donate. It's easy!

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    Nick has done what very few candidates can: he's taken the ego out of running for office. He cares deeply and passionately about his community and the state of Oregon. Being down-valley, I won't be able to do much door-knocking on his behalf, but I definitely believe he will be an effective and sensible member of the Legislature.

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    I'm a resident of HD 49 and have known Nick for a few years now. To say he doesn't know nothing about anything is just a lie. He knows a lot about the issues that are most important to people in the district - crime, health care, roads, etc. He's been out there for months talking to voters at the doorstep, at events, etc.

    He did well in the primary because he talked about the issues that are most important to voters in the district. Democratic voters in the district already know quite a bit about him from that primary, and now we need to build upon that knowledge with the Dems - and work to introduce him to Independents, NAVs, etc.

    His opponent, on the other hand, is not that well known in the district. And my husband, who was a registered Republican until just recently, never received a single thing from him during the primary season. Andy has no idea who the Republican candidate is, but he saw plenty of mailers that I got from Nick's campaign.

    From what I have seen thus far, Nick is well ahead in his understanding of the issues in the district. He's not repeating the tired old rhetoric that we used to hear from Minnis every campaign season. He's talking about solutions to the real problems that affect voters in this district every day. That's the kind of person I want representing me in Salem.

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    the reason for the accolades for Nick is that he's earned them. people who know and work with him -- and that would include all those above -- recognize we have a chance to put someone special in Salem for East County. does he have years of political experience? thankfully, no. Minnis & Wayne Clark have years of political experience. Oregonians have been electing new & young leaders -- Sara Gelser, Brian Clem, Ben Cannon and others -- based not on their years of being an insider but based on their life experience, their personality (campaigning and as a member of the community) and on their potential.

    we know what we'll get with a Minnis tool. with Nick, we also know what we'll get: real representation.

  • Warren Fish (unverified)

    Nick Kahl is going to be a great State Representative! He has all the energy, integrity and intelligence required to do a great job for his district. Not only that, he has what it takes as a campaigner and hard worker to actually get it done in District 49 and take this seat away from mean people named Minnis! BUT, he needs our help. As Rob Brading said so eloquently, it is vital that we all contribute money and volunteer hours to Nick's campaign, as much as we can. A whole lot hinges on the outcome of this race, for east county, and for Oregon. Go Nick Kahl!

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    Erin, you might be wrong about Nick talking to every voter in the district. he might yet accomplish that.

    but let's assume he needs help. the Bus Project is heading out to East County again, Sept 6, so call Henry at the Bus (503.233.3018) & tell him you want to be part of the fun (fun: (n) 1. electing Nick Kahl to the Oregon House, 2. playing dodgeball and other recess-oriented games after canvassing for Nick Kahl on Sept 6). great chance to help Nick (especially all you west-county Multnomah Dems) and have a great time.

    but we need to hurry or Nick will beat us all and talk to everyone by his own damn self.

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)

    I'll be announcing the September 6th canvass at the Washington County Central Committee meeting on August 27th and encouraging our energetic volunteers to take the Max out to the East Side for Nick!

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    Sometimes I think we end of with a few favorite leg candidates who seem to receive gobs of volunteer help and $, while others with potential are left in the dust. Rob was one of those favorite candidates last time, partly because he was hardworking candidate, but obviously largely because of his opponent. I'm so happy to see this post from Rob, and hope that his supporters from '06 will lsiten.

    As a native Eastern Oregonian, I would add that I think we will never have a clear, safe majority unless we pick up one or two Eastern O seats. We have a great opportunity this year with Judy Stigler in Bend and Mike Ahern in Madras (Dist 59). As many of you know, Judy came close in Bend in '04, and Jim Gilbertson came within 200 votes of Dallum in Dist 59 in 2006. I hope donors and volunteers with the BUS and other groups will consider helping Judy and Mike, as well as Nick (and others.)

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