GOP Rep. Tries To Defeat Democratic Opponent In The Primary
Portland area Republican state Representative Matt Wand is trying an unusual tactic in his campaign to get re-elected: He's trying to win both the Republican and Democratic primaries. The freshman lawmaker defeated incumbent Democrat Nick Kahl in the 2010 election, and he's wasting no time in trying to fend off Democratic challenger Chris Gorsek. Wand is encouraging registered Democrats in his east Multnomah County district to write him in on their primary ballot. By winning the Democratic primary, Wand would avoid a potentially costly general election campaign in a district that's seen its share of political battles over the past decade.Wand tells me that the effort is a natural outgrowth of his efforts to reach across the aisle. "I promised my neighbors I would put our interests first without regards of the party affiliation of the people I’m working with," he said. "A lot of my supporters vote across party lines to support me." The numbers bore this out in the last election cycle: Wand won in 2010 despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans by a considerable margin in HD-49.Wand's opponent, Chris Gorsek, isn't buying the incumbent's argument. Gorsek's campaign manager, Sara Francis, tells me: "We just feel like its kind of desperate. He obviously feels as though if we continue until November, he can't win." The Democratic Party of Oregon accuses Wand of "playing games."With a Democrat on the ballot, it's likely a long shot for Wand to win his write-in campaign. But it's not unusual for legislative candidates to win the opposite party's write-in nomination when there are no other candidates on that ballot. In fact, it happened five times during the 2010 election cycle. That includes Democrat Lew Frederick, who won the Republican nomination on the backs of just three write-in votes.
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May 04, 2012
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