With Rep. Jefferson Smith's announcement that he's running for mayor, one thing we know is certain: He won't be returning to the legislature.
District 47, in the outer eastside of Portland, is a safe Democratic seat - and was largely unchanged in redistricting, with some minor tinkering around the edges. (Old map here).
Under the new map (shown), the district remains largely tucked into the corner east and south of the intersection of I-205 and I-84. The district is roughly between East 102nd and 162nd, and between I-84 and Division (with small chunks south to Powell and north to Sandy.)
Previously, the 47th was held by Jeff Merkley, who was first elected in 1998 and served until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. Shortly after Merkley announced his run for the Senate, Smith moved into the district and subsequently ran unopposed in 2008. Smith, of course, was a formidable candidate - so it's hard to know if the lack of opposition reflected a lack of interest on the part of other candidates. No word yet on any prospective 2012 candidates. Stay tuned.