We've talked quite a bit around here about the 2010 race for Governor. But we haven't talked much at all about the 2010 race for Congress in Oregon's 5th District.
After all, it's well-known in hackworld and in academia that the best chance you've got to knock out a Member of Congress is in their first two re-election campaigns.
And that history is borne out in the 5th.
In 1994, Mike Kopetski (D) was defeated in his second re-election attempt by Jim Bunn (R). Two years later, Bunn was defeated by Darlene Hooley (D) in his first shot at it.
[Update: Kopetski declined to run for re-election, making it an open seat. Thanks to Jeff Mapes for the correction. That's what I get for late-night blogging.]
So, if the Republicans are gunning for Schrader, now's the time.
And sure enough, millionaire playboy Mike Erickson - who lost 54 to 38 to Schrader - is already talking about a third run for Congress. Congressional Quarterly reports this week that Erickson is "actively considering a 2010 campaign" despite having spent $3.7 million in his two failed attempts.
And while the prospect of a third shellacking of the millionaire "humanitarian" sounds like fun, 5th District Republicans are unlikely to nominate him again.
As I noted two years ago, the 5th District has a long and deep bench of Republicans that could make a reasonable run for Congress - probably the deepest bench in the state. There's former congressional candidates Jim Zupancic, Brian Boquist, Fred Girod, and Scott Bruun. There's former county commissioner and current state legislator Bill Kennemer - and former GOP majority leader Wayne Scott. State Reps. Kim Thatcher, Vicki Berger, and Vic Gilliam are surely chafing at the Democratic supermajority. And don't forget Kevin Mannix - who may be a four-time statewide loser (and once to Mike Erickson), but who has always been strong in the 5th.
On top of all that, the 5th District isn't favorable territory. As another post on Swing State Project notes, the 5th is one of just 52 districts across the country that voted twice for George W. Bush and then voted for Barack Obama.
If 2010 doesn't turn out to be as strong a Democratic year as 2008, expect Kurt Schrader to face heavier sledding. To get involved with Kurt's campaign visit KurtSchrader.com or make a donation on ActBlue.
(Hat tip on the CQ Erickson item to Nothstine.)