Last week, I asked "What are you looking for in a gubernatorial candidate?"
My only rule? No names. Which led to a a fascinating conversation about issues, personalities, leadership styles, etc. And, please, do feel free to continue that conversation over there.
But now, after completely avoiding the names, I'd like to flip the conversation over and talk about names. I'd also like to talk about money - the one thing that didn't really come up at all in that other, more high-minded, conversation.
Let's be honest: The ability to raise campaign funds is going to play a big part in who our next Governor is going to be. (Don't have to like it, but that's the system we've got.)
I've assembled a massive list of all the people that have been mentioned as possible gubernatorial candidates. Since most of 'em are in the legislature, and haven't been raising money for six months, this is a great time to take a snapshot of the financial starting line.
To be sure, my list is utterly ridiculous. Long ago, the columnist Russell Baker coined the term "The Great Mentioner" to describe the phenomenon in politics whereby names would somehow trickle out as rumors and eventually become accepted wisdom, right up to the point where they're debunked or denied.
So, my list includes people that are confirmed candidates, media reported, widely rumored, someone's idea of a great idea, or just a drunken toss-it-out-there from someone at a happy hour I've been to in the last six months. (And despite all that, I'm sure I've left someone out!)
With all those disclaimers in place, here's where all of The Great Mentioner's gubernatorial candidates are standing when the sine die starting gun goes off on the 2010 campaign.
|The Democrats||The Republicans|
|Peter DeFazio*||370,367||Greg Walden*||319,981|
|Peter Courtney||271,171||Ted Ferrioli||106,501|
|Betsy Johnson||200,825||Gordon Smith*||75,663|
|Dave Hunt||43,428||Allen Alley||71,451|
|Mark Hass||38,567||Jason Atkinson||47,756|
|Rick Metsger||33,696||Bill Kennemer||40,575|
|Brad Avakian||32,417||Ron Saxton||21,921|
|Brian Clem||28,253||Bruce Hanna||21,264|
|Peter Buckley||24,711||Frank Morse||13,002|
|Bill Bradbury||17,978||Kevin Mannix*||3,065|
|Alan Bates||16,694||Rick Dancer||0|
|Vicki Walker||15,984||Dave Frohnmayer||0|
|Randy Leonard||14,417||Jack Roberts||0|
* Note: While Oregon has daily electronic reporting, federal campaigns still report quarterly. The most recent numbers from Greg Walden and Peter DeFazio are from March 31. The most recent numbers from Steve Novick and Gordon Smith are from December 31. Kevin Mannix has both state and federal committees (12/31), which I added together here. And finally, I should note that John Frohnmayer - who briefly ran as an independent for U.S. Senate last year had $985 in his federal campaign as of 12/31.
Also, I should note that I used the "cash balance" figure from Oregon's system (and "cash on hand" for federal.) That seems to be the best figure to compare across campaigns. It does ignore any outstanding loans or pledges, but pledges often don't come through and loans are often repaid after the election so the funds are available now. It does somewhat shortchange Bradbury and Alley, who've been raising and spending money for several months now; but those differences will shake out rapidly. Later, we'll use this opening cash balance to report "total raised since sine die" as another way of looking at overall strength.