OR-1: Who's running?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Trying to keep things organized, so I've moved all the updates about possible candidates over here.

To recap for our out-of-town visitors: Right now, the only Democratic candidates are previously-announced Brad Avakian, the state labor commissioner; and Brad Witt, a state representative from Clatskanie. There are no Republican candidates.

Governor Kitzhaber has announced that there will definitely be a primary election, but we don't yet know when. Here's the rest of the day's news and reactions, still being updated.

Update, 1:05 p.m. According to the Cascade Policy -sponsored website "Oregon Capitol News", State GOP spokesman Greg Leo has two more possible Republican names: Tea Party activists John Kuzmanich and Doug Keller, along with previously mentioned businessman Rob Miller and 2010 nominee Rob Cornilles.

Update, 1:12 p.m. Two hours ago, Rep. Shawn Lindsay (R-Hillsboro) tweeted

Thanks for all the inquiries/calls asking whether I'll run for Congressional District 1. I'll be announcing my decision shortly.

Update, 3:45 p.m. Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D-Beaverton) facebooked:

Thanks to all for the encouragement. We can now focus on how to make sure that the people who live in CD 1 are effectively represented in Congress. I will have an announcement about that very soon. In the meantime, my apologies to all of those who have not been able to reach me; my voicemail keeps filling up! Please email me at suzannefororegon (--) gmail.com. And stay tuned!

Update, 4:19 p.m. According to the AP, Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) is still out, citing family obligations (same as in March). Businessman Rob Miller is "seriously considering" a run (same as a week ago)

Update, 11:34 p.m. OPB's April Baer has this interesting note - about whether national money may come to play in Oregon:

You might think so, but the handicappers don't see it that way. I talked today to Kyle Trygstad. He's a politics reporter for Roll Call, the online newspaper that covers Capitol politics. He says President Obama did really well in the First District in 2008. What's more, David Wu won by a pretty wide margin last year without doing a lot of boots-on-the-ground campaigning. He doesn't see Oregon CD-1 taking precedence over some other Democratic and Republican priority areas.

Update, 11:38 p.m. Came across this curious comment from political analyst and corporate lobbyist Len Bergstein in an item from Politico:

“There are a lot of talented Democrats in this district, people in the business community, and we may see a self-funder emerge,” Bergstein said.

Update, 11:42 p.m. Allen Alley signals the forthcoming campaign message from the Republicans in comments to Newsweek's Daily Beast.

But the other possibility is that Democrats take blame for “allowing” Wu to keep his job, despite years of weird behavior, said Allen Alley, chairman of the Oregon GOP.

“The Democratic Party knew this was going on and they let the guy get elected,” Alley said. “They’re going to have to tell the electorate why they’re not responsible for it in any way, shape, or form, and I think that’s going to be hard.”

Update, 11:48 p.m. Over at Human Events, conservative commentator John Gizzi adds another name to the mix - Molly Bordonaro. (She is currently a Senior VP at Gerding Edlen)

The two names most mentioned as candidates are conservatives who ran the impressive campaigns against Wu: Molly Bordonaro, longtime associate of George W. Bush and former U.S. ambassador to Malta, who lost to Wu by a tight 50% to 47% the last time the seat was open (1998), and sporting goods entrepreneur Rob Cornilles, who raised $607,000 and held the incumbent to a 52% to 42% margin last year.

Update, 11:54 p.m. Somehow, I neglected to note earlier that the AP has mentioned Rep. Katie Eyre Brewer (R-Hillsboro) as a possible candidate. She also Facebooked today:

Clearly Washington is still dominated by politicians who don't get it. The people in Congressional District 1 deserve a candidate devoted to changing the culture of power in D.C.

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    Full disclosure: My firm built Brad Avakian's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    John Kuzmanich?


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    Kuz would be a great candidate! He finished 3rd behind Cornilles and Keller and continues to hemorrhage supportt as the TPers lose membership and become more anti-American in their positions and advocacy.

    GO KUZ GO!

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      To expand a bit on your point. Kuz and Keller were both at 9k with Kuz coming in around 800 votes shy of Keller. Cornilles came in at 13k. One could make the argument that if Keller or Kuz (both tea party people) had dropped out the other would have beaten Cornilles. Having seen Rob, Kuz and Keller on a number of occasion I suspect that Kuz was the second best candidate of the three given that he seemed generally competent while Keller seemed affable but ultimately ineffective.

      I would also warn that the Tea Party in Washington County, at least in the 2010 cycle, was much less inflammatory and obviously extreme than the folks remarked on in Roseberg and I think it is a mistake to lump them in together.

      The meetings I went to (for research purposes of course) were diverse, thoughtful and open to much more debate than I would have suspected. The Americans for Prosperity organizer in Washington county at the time was a young out gay man that was a strong leader and in many ways exposed the broader problem for the GOP that at times was being addressed by some aspects of the Tea Party (all be they too few and far between).

      Both Kuz and Keller would have been weaker in a general than Rob while ironically coming into it with the possibility of more votes, if there had been one tea party candidate. In the end I think this is the real irony and weakness of the possible successes of tea party activism in Washington county.

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        I agree with this. I saw signs for both tea party candidates at the few GOP households near my home in OR-1 last year. Had they not split the vote of the far right, one of them probably wins.

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    I would like to commend Kitzhaber for having a primary election and allowing the people to vote.

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    I also think Bonamici will probably run of course (and I'd support her in the primary if she did).

    That's three strong Dems and that's more than good enough.

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    Sporting goods entrepreneur Rob Cornilles, who raised $607,000 and held the incumbent to a 52% to 42% margin last year.

    They're bragging about the fact that Cornilles couldn't get within 10 percentage points in an election cycle that was generally favorable for Republicans?

    I suspect that Bordonaro would be the tougher of the two candidates.

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    This race will be harder for the GOP with Wu out of it. I have no idea who will emerge from the GOP primary, but whoever it is, you can be sure they will paint their Democratic opponent as part of the Oregon Democratic apparatus that for years supported, defended, ignored, and enabled David Wu to do his thing.

    It's only a matter of time before we see the first Photoshop project with Brad Avakian wearing a Tiger suit.

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    Unfortunately, it seems inappropriate to tot up who will and won't run just yet, as Congressman Wu has yet to announce a date upon which he'll actually step down. Nothing can really happen unless he gets off the dime.

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