Last week, the O's Jeff Mapes reported that Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) is likely going to run for Congress in the First Congressional District - joining a race that already includes incumbent Congressman David Wu and Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.
He said that he won't make a final decision until after receiving polling data, but "as it stands right now, it looks like we're going to be announcing after the Fourth of July."
He said he thought his candidacy "is very viable" and that he could present himself as a "pro-growth Democrat." One place he's likely to differ from the rest of the Democratic primary field is that he supported the controversial proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at Bradwood Landing on the Columbia River.
Over at Daily Kos, David Nir (formerly known as Swing State Project's DavidNYC) had this reaction:
It's good news… for David Wu! No, seriously. The embattled Democratic congressman, facing a stiff primary challenge from Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, just got a lifeline from Rep. Brad Witt, who now looks very likely to join the fray. This makes it much more likely that Wu, in the style of Indiana Rep. Dan Burton, will survive his primary thanks to a split field. Polling by Avakian (PDF) suggests that Wu could score around 40% and has a floor of about 30 — good enough to pull a Burton.
In the 2010 primary, [Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana)] received less than 30%. He still retained the nomination, because the remainder of the vote was split among six separate challengers. The challengers were Luke Messer (28%), Dr. John McGoff again (19%), State Representative Mike Murphy (9%), Brose McVey (8%), Andy Lyons (4%) and Ann B. Adcock (3%).
On the one hand, more choices are always better for voters. On the other hand, if you're of the view that it's time for David Wu to go (as I am), a straight-up head-to-head contest would seem to offer the surest path.