Vicki Walker: Out.

Vicki Walker has decided against running for Governor. Instead, she'll seek re-election to her State Senate seat. KVAL has the story:

"Now is not the time to run for governor," said Walker. She says she still wants to challenge the status quo, but she'll do it by running for re-election, instead of for governor.

"I am actually delighted to be rejoining my colleges. I'm excited by the possibilities to do many great things and we can build a better future for Oregon because there is much yet to be done," said Walker.


  • Penny (unverified)

    In the second paragraph of the quote, should we substitute "colleagues" for "colleges"?

  • anonymous (unverified)

    Who wants to hold the first fundraiser?

  • Jamie (unverified)

    "I'm excited by the possibilities to do many great things... "

    Someone is is excited about the possibilities of the Oregon Legislature? Now that's being an optimist!

  • Coffeetrader (unverified)

    I am excited for Vickie. I probably would have even supported her attempts. But I am more interested in decreasing the competition and making room for Saxton and Mannix.

  • Aaron (unverified)

    It is a shame that Sen Walker did not get traction for the Govenor race. It is a sad day for Oregon.

  • Karl (unverified)

    Makes it easier now for progressives to throw their support to Sorensen now.

  • LT (unverified)

    Karl, Sorenson needs to talk more about specifics of what he would do and not just be "not Ted". So Sorenson would end the corporate kicker and use that for community colleges. Fine. What are the other parts of his vision? How would he make sure K-12, public safety, health care etc. are funded? Does he have a vision for the next 10 years? Where is the plan to carry it out?

  • Robin Ozretich (unverified)


    You have good questions for Pete Sorenson. I don't realy know much about Sorenson, but I welcome a strong challenger to Ted K. I hope to hear more from Sorenson about the issues you brought up. If Sorenson appears to be more of a visionary and leader than Ted K (not hard to do) then I will support him.

    I don't expect the traditional media to give Sorenson much coverage or a fair shake at unseating Ted - this matters a lot less than it used to, especially in a primary situation. Sorenson should be able to reach out to Democratic primary voters through other means than traditional media. We can help, if so inclined.

    So Pete - get your butt over to Blue Oregon and let us know about your vision for Oregon.

  • LT (unverified)

    There was a time when I admired Pete Sorenson. But a little over a year ago, he was quoted on Blue Oregon saying we need a leader, not a mediator:

    Sorry, Sorenson supporters, but I believe a leader has a vision and a plan to carry it out. That is why I would support Ben Westlund (man with a legislative record we can study, discuss, debate) or Jim Hill (former legislator and statewide elected official) than someone who talks in sound bites but not in detail.

    I'm not big on labels--I think they short-circuit thought. I have seen more thoughtful remarks from Westlund and Hill (esp. like Hill's remarks at recent Legis. Comm. hearings on the need for campaign finance reform) than I have from Sorenson.

    "Not Ted" is not a sufficient reason to vote for anyone in the primary. Provide a positive alternative and answer questions, or get out of the way.

  • pete sorenson (unverified)

    hello blue oregon,

    It is good news that Senator Vicki Walker (D-Eugene) announced that she's seeking re-election. It is going to be a tough race, what with the Kulongoski team raising $48,000 for her Republican opponent. It's also good news for our campaign for governor, It narrows the field and the Democrats can decide between my record and vision and that of the incumbent, Ted Kulongoski. Kulongoski went to the White House to support the Bush war in Iraq, Kulongoski cut community colleges and head start, Kulongoski won't end the corporate kicker to help Oregon's schools, Kulongoski won't help put public power in the hands of the people and businesses that would save $100 million if PGE power were public power. I'd do the opposite. Progressive Oregon, Blue Oregon, I hope you'll help me now that the field has narrowed. Pete at PS as for Ben Weslund, I suggest you take a look at his labor and environmental records.

  • (Show?)

    Hi Pete:

    48K for Torrey? Do you have a source for that? Thanks.

  • LT (unverified)

    Pete: Why doesn't the "issues" tab on your website work but the other ones do? Where can we find your "record and vision" if not there?

    Had you been elected Governor in 2002, what exactly would you have done differently about the Iraq war? Ted K. was a Marine--did you serve in the military? What are you positions on veterans / National Guard issues?

    Kulongoski cut community colleges and head start all by himself, or did Minnis, Scott and other legislators do that? Would you pledge to do all budget negotiations in public, or how would you have handled the 2003 and 2005 budgets differently given the House leadership of those years?

    I thought you proposed ending the corporate kicker to help fund community colleges, so how does that help fund K-12?

    "Kulongoski won't help put public power in the hands of the people and businesses that would save $100 million if PGE power were public power"

    What specific steps would Sorenson have taken the past 4 years with regard to PGE? And those steps would have worked well because....?

    Why is your labor and environmental record better than Westlund? Don't give AFL-CIO and OLCV scores but what you would have proposed and how you would have accomplished your goals.

    Pete: I suspect you have lived in Lane County long enough to recall the name Margie Hendricksen.

    In the mid-1980s she ran against Hatfield. She ran the same sort of campaign--mentioning the opponent's name more than her own when she was given media coverage.

    Several weeks before the election, I ran into an old friend who had moved back to Oregon from where he'd been living to help her in the final stretch of the campaign. He asked for my support (a change from "you're supposed to support Margie" which had been the approach of some of her supporters) and I told him if he wanted me to support her he'd have to get her to talk more about what she proposed than what was wrong with the opponent.

    Reading your most recent comment reminded me of Margie as I have not been reminded of her in years.

    I like Ben Westlund. He is cheerful, optimistic, and states what he is for rather than what his opponents are against. He and/or Jim Hill would spice up what some I know consider an uninspiring campaign for Gov.

    "Vote Sorenson because he is not Ted Kulongoski" will not get my vote.

    "Sorenson stands for................." would be more appealing--if I agreed with what Sorenson stands for. Currently, I don't know what that is.

  • james mattiace (unverified)

    Senator Walker deserves our utmost support in the next 10 months (geez only 10 months until the election?). If you don't live in Lane County, then be prepared to drive there (or maybe hitch a ride on the Bus)
    This is ground zero, a hot House race between Chris Edwards(D) and Debi Farr(R) and a big time Senate race between Vicki Walker and Jim Torrey.

    Don't be fooled. This is where its at. Focus on Lane County. Focus.

  • Vicki Walker (unverified)

    I appreciate reading your comments. Please note that in my speech the word "colleagues" is spelled's KVAL-TV who couldn't get it right. You may view my speech in its entirety at our web site, It's a quick look at what I plan to do when I return to the Senate in 2007. There is much more, but a 20-minute speech is about all anyone can sit patiently and listen to. I won't go into detail about why I ran for governor here because I would just repeat what I said in my speech. All I will say is that I am proud of the effort we made to move the ball down the field, because democracy should not be about swearing blind allegiance to anyone just because of their party affiliation. If we don't question authority and hold our leaders accountable, then who will?

    We will be transitioning the gubernatorial web site over to the senate race in the next several days. As James said, this will be a competitive race fueled by lots of money. I didn't give up my run for governor just to lose a senate race, however, so you can count on the kind of hard work that has become my trademark.

  • Jay Bozievich (unverified)


    Gov. K's original budget had a real dollar cut to Community Colleges. After being called on it, his office said there was a "math error". But, he never requested or advocated for a change. The Karen Minnis House proposed the highest dollar amount for CC's in their budget, but the Peter Courtney Senate had a much lower figure in theirs (at least it was above the Gov's). The final budget was between the two.

    As a CC Board member, I can say that the House was our strongest ally in fighting for higher funding in '05. Ted did his best to cut CC's all by himself.

    Higher funding for CC's will help K-12 in Lane County as we work to establish a Regional Vocational-Technical School in cooperation with the districts. It will also help us continue our College Now! program that allows duel enrollment in HS and LCC so HS kids can earn college credits at little or no additional cost. We are also working to support training of teachers aides and counselors and much more.

  • LT (unverified)

    Jay, Why can't Pete Sorenson be that specific? Because he thinks he can win the primary on "not Ted"?

    I spent 2 years in the 1960s at what was then called a Junior College. I believe in them.

    What I don't believe in is those candidates who say "the incumbent made mistakes and that is why you should vote for me".

  • Jay Bozievich (unverified)


    I was just writing to dispel the myth that it was Speaker Minnis and the R's that cut CC's. The Guv and Senate D's were complicit in our current budget woes.

    Pete will have to provide you with his own vision and plans to reach that vision. I cannot.

    I too dislike a candidate that runs on "I am not him". I prefer candidates that tell us what they are for, what they want things to be like in the future, and how they are going to get us there.

  • LT (unverified)

    PS as for Ben Weslund, I suggest you take a look at his labor and environmental records.

    Gee, what I heard was that Westlund was the only R to sign workers right to organize pledge, was the only R to vote for SB 426 - card check for unions, and was the deciding vote on SB321- allowing non strike-able public safety workers to negotiate safety issues.

    So, is Sorenson's information wrong, or is he so threatened by an Independent who might run for Gov. that he feels the need to attack?

  • Clack (unverified)

    FYI LT, a few months ago Pete had a column here on Blue Oregon titled "Why I Am Running for Governor." It answers many of the points you have raised.

    This idea that Westlund is a moderate on the environment is just goofy. Ben Westlund's "other" claim to fame last legislature was sneaking through a bill to strip some State Scenic Waterway Act protections from the Lower Deschutes River (allowing more water to be drained from it) in order to allow for more spawl development around Bend. The conservation community in Central Oregon has had to fight Westlund tooth and nail over the years on various schemes to help bring more golf courses and pavement to the high desert.

    If Westlund is pro-environment, Bush is pro-education.

    Another point on Sorenson... you may not be familiar with Oregon environmental politics, but before Pete first ran for office, his law practice represented environmental groups in litigation against the federal government aimed at protecting Bull Run (the source of Portland's drinking water) from logging, protecting endangered species, and reducing the amount of lead allowed in our drinking water.

    As a candidate, Pete certainly has his problems. But questioning his environmental creds while praising Westlund's is just laughable.

  • LT (unverified)

    Gee, I posted what I had heard about Westlund's LABOR record and was taken to task for his environmental record!

    I read the abovementioned post, and it gives the biography that I mostly already know. I am a disappointed former fan of Sorenson. He is against tax breaks and a few other things (what Democrat isn't?) but he doesn't give a vision for Oregon.

    And about environmental politics, I know more than you might imagine. I know that not all who care about the environment think OLCV ratings are the be all and end all. I know people who were involved in Opal Creek. I know people disgusted in 1996 that environmental endorsements went to Bruggere rather than Rust or Lonsdale who had actual environmental records.

    I am looking for someone who presents a vision for Oregon and a plan to carry it out. Sorenson supporters attacking a potential Indep. candidate for Gov. do not provide that vision. They just sound threatened.

  • LT (unverified)

    This was just on the Statesman-Journal Update section, and after emailing it to friends who in some cases have known him for years, it seemed right to post it here.

    Former state treasurer to announce gubernatorial plans

    February 3, 2006

    Former State Treasurer Jim Hill will announce his plans for the governor’s race Tuesday.

    Hill said he’ll announce whether he’ll enter the Democratic primary for governor, which would pit him against incumbent Gov. Ted Kulongoski. He scheduled a 10 a.m. press conference in the Capitol to reveal his plans.

    Hill, an African-American, made history in 1992, becoming the first person of color elected statewide in Oregon. He served two terms as state treasurer. He represented Salem in the state House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986, and in the state Senate from 1987 to 1992.

    In 2002, Hill ran for governor, finishing second to Kulongoski in a three-person Democratic primary.

  • Anon (unverified)


    The water bill you are refering tois HB3494. It does not (and legally cannot per Federal protections) effect the flow of the lower Deschutes. In fact, if you did any research on the river or the bill you would be aware that the section of the river you mention has a source other than the middle deschutes that brings it to its current level.

    <h2>Every Senate Democrat voted for this bill. Its purposer is to raise the level of the middle deschutes during the summer months when farmers with pre-existing water rights drain it to dangerously low levels. It is a mitigation plan, meaning that every drop of ground water taken muct be put back into the river. Now explain to me how this is bad legislation.</h2>
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