Nine open legislative seats in 2012 so far

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Last week, Rep. Terry Beyer (D-Springfield) announced that she wouldn't seek re-election. The district, HD-12, was more-or-less unchanged in redistricting.

Rep. Beyer immediately endorsed a successor - John Lively, who served as mayor of Springfield from 1981 to 1986. (More about Lively below.)

Beyer's departure brings to nine the count of open legislative seats. That's quite a change from 2010, when there were zero open seats. Correction: In 2010, there were five open seats, three Democrats and two Republicans. Thanks to Rep. Dave Hunt for the note. (More explanation in the comments.)

Here's the full list:

And, of course, there are two freshly-appointed legislators that will be seeking election for the first time, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D) in HD-46 and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D) in SD-17.

The Register-Guard's Saul Hubbard has a good discussion of Beyer's reasons for leaving, and of Lively's background:

Lively, who will run as a Democrat, described himself as a “fiscally conservative” and “socially liberal” candidate who will prioritize “new job opportunities for Oregonians,” career training for individuals who are out of work, education and access to health care for all citizens.

Lively currently works in marketing and public relations for Eugene-based Cawood Communications after a professional career that has included stints in manufacturing, retail, economic development and consulting.

Lively also has served on the boards of many local nonprofit organizations, including United Way of Lane County, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and Strong Schools for Springfield.

What do you think? With six Democrats leaving the House, should Democrats be concerned about prospects for winning back a majority?

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    I don't believe we should be concerned about recapturing the majority. Four of the six open D seats are easy holds, with the other two likely holds with strong D candidates already running. These six seats are not the battleground for the 2012 legislative elections in Oregon. The battleground seats are all held by Republicans, most of them freshmen.

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    One correction: there WERE several open House seats in 2010:

    HD-3, Rep. Ron Maurer left to run for Superintendent of Public Instruction

    HD-29, Rep. Chuck Riley left to run for the Senate

    HD-30, Rep. David Edwards didn't run again

    HD-51, Rep. Brent Barton left to run for the Senate

    HD-55, Rep. George Gilman retired

    Plus, there were three "red shirt freshmen" who filled mid-term vacancies and ran for their first full term in 2010:

    HD-14, Rep. Val Hoyle replaced Chris Edwards, who was appointed to the Senate

    HD-35, Rep. Margaret Doherty replaced Larry Galizio, who resigned to take another job

    HD-43, Rep. Lew Frederick replaced Chip Shields, who was appointed to the Senate.

    So, the number of vacancies this year really isn't that high by historic standards. Food for thought.

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      Argh. Forehead smack.

      In a post last July, I wrote, "In 2010, there were zero open seats in legislative districts within or including Portland."

      Somehow, in reading that and bringing it forward to this post eight months later, I dropped the "within or including Portland."

      Sigh. You are, of course, correct. The post has been fixed.

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    Thanks for the post Kari. While it is not unusual for many legislators to move on during every election and we will miss our colleagues, we are ready to take back the majority in 2012 and let me explain why.

    In addition to the strong candidates that will be running in Democratic open seats, we also have the opportunity to pick up many seats that Republicans won in 2010. Currently, there are 8 seats held by Republicans that have Democratic registration advantages. There are no Democratic held seats that have a Republican registration advantages. With our registration advantages, increased turnout and strong candidates we believe we are well positioned to take back the majority.

    Take a second to look into our candidates that have filed for the open seats that Kari pointed out:

    In HD 9, Caddy McKeown, a long-time community leader is running to replace Rep. Arnie Roblan.

    In HD 10, David Gomberg, a Lincoln City small business owner, is running to place Rep. Jean Cowan.

    In HD 12, as you noted, John Lively, former Springfield mayor and long-time community leader, has stepped up to run to replace Rep. Terry Beyer.

    In HD 40, we have a familiar face, Brent Barton running to replace Rep. Dave Hunt.

    In HD 36, we have two women running in a primary, Sharon Meieran and Jennifer Williamson ( running to replace Rep. Mary Nolan.

    In HD 47, there are three people running in the primary election to replace Rep. Jefferson Smith. Jessica Vega-Pederson, Thuy Tran, and Andrew Haynes.

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