OR-5: General Mike Caldwell?

MikecaldwellOver at his blog for the Oregonian, Jeff Mapes reveals another potential candidate for CD5, Oregon National Guard Brigadier General Mike Caldwell:

Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell, the deputy director of the Oregon Military Department, says he is joining the crowd of potential candidates looking at running for the 5th District congressional seat held by Democratic Rep. Darlene Hooley.

Caldwell would be an intriguing figure in the race. He's a Democrat who once was a Union County commissioner in Eastern Oregon and has been in the National Guard for 37 years. At the same time, he said he has also long been critical of both President Bush's reasons for invading Iraq and of how he's handled the war since.

Caldwell, 56, said he began looking at the race after receiving several calls urging him to run. He said he plans to make a decision by early next week on whether to get into the race.

At this point, nobody has filed on the Democratic side but several people are looking at the race. Caldwell said one of the issues he has to consider is the likely candidacy of a friend of his, Paul Evans, another veteran who advises Gov. Ted Kulongoski on military matters.

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • DW (unverified)

    General Caldwell would be an EXCELLENT candidate for the 5th congressional district. He knows the district well after living in Salem for 20 years. He was previously elected in tough Democratic districts in Eastern Oregon. He has strongly opposed the war, but he is also moderate enough to reflect the views of the district.

    Hands down, Caldwell is the strongest candidate we could have to keep this seat in Dem hands!

  • LT (unverified)

    DW, if you believe that, by all means contact him and ask for an invitation to his annoucement if he decides to run. But then campaign for him by saying "Caldwell is the best candidate because of his stand on........." and don't claim to know who will do best in an election.

    We deserve serious issue debate in this election, not just "my candidate can win, yours can't". Not only is that approach very old, but it has the tendency to turn people off--the candidate and the campaign. Campaigns don't win simply because people are told it is their duty to volunteer and vote for a candidate.

  • Eric Chambers (unverified)

    Mike Caldwell is one of the most exciting potential candidates I have seen in a really long time. I grew up in the 5th district (Toledo) and care deeply about it. General Caldwell's firm, early, and persistent stance against the war in Iraq is the most persuasive I have seen, not to mention that it is daring in his community of colleagues. It does not take long listening to him speak about foreign affairs to realize what a unique contribution he would make to Congress. He can speak about his opposition to the war with the authority and insight required to be persuasive. He is also one of the smartest, most charismatic and inspiring people I have worked with.

    Growing up in the district (and voting for Hooley every chance I got), I also know how important it is for a Democrat to be able to speak to the important natural resource issues -agriculture, timber, fishing, etc. General Caldwell's eastern Oregon upbringing makes him well suited for those very important community conversations and connections with citizens.

    Needless to say, soldiers and veterans in the 5th would continue to have a VERY strong advocate representing them in Congress. General Caldwell was a passionate and outspoken advocate when the Bush administration was failing to provide our soldiers with vital equipment on their way to Iraq, and was putting them in unarmored vehicles while patrolling areas crawling with IED's.

    Caldwell, in his role in the National Guard, also started Oregon's Youth Challenge high school in central Oregon, which takes students who have essentially dropped out of high school, puts them through a rigorous in-residence program, and graduates them with high school diplomas and their lives back on track. The Oregon Guard's school is regularly rated the best of its kind in the Nation. Any candidate for that race is going to speak to issues of education and helping students, but Mike's actually done it. I am really excited about this prospect.

  • Accel (unverified)

    There would be a certain poetic beauty about watching a Kevin Mannix campaign tear the bowels out of a Caldwell candidacy.

  • LT (unverified)

    Accel, it is not a given that Kevin does well against any given candidate.

    But perhaps George Allen and the Minn. incumbent defeated by Tim Walz of the National Guard thought the same way you do.

    Dave Steves has a very interesting take on what Kevin might currently be up to. http://rgweb-c.registerguard.com/blogs/index.php/capnote/comments/a_millionaire_a_congresswoman_and_a_ballot_measure/

  • Chuy (unverified)

    I had the pleasure of meeting General Mike Caldwell at an event that was focused on bringing family-wage jobs to Oregon's Guardsmen. Although he didn't agree with the Iraq War, Mike Caldwell served his country well by being a great leader for these soldiers. When they returned from war, he was there to greet them and make sure they were well taken care of.

    One of the greatest things that Mike Caldwell has helped build is the Reintegration Team at the Oregon Military Department. The team works incredibly hard to make sure that every soldier that returns home from Iraq or Afghanistan has every resource available to help adjust to life back at home. They help them with finding a job, getting access to health care, and adjusting back into their family lives. Without Mike Caldwell, that program never would have gotten of the ground. This program is one-of a kind in our country and is being studied by other states to help their returning veterans.

    That's the type of leadership the 5th needs. It needs real leadership that's not afraid to say mistakes have been made and that they would do everything in their power to help fix it. Although we can't turn back the wheels of time on the war, Mike Caldwell is doing everything he can to help the soldiers from Oregon who volunteered to serve.

    Mike Caldwell can win the 5th, and we should do eveything we can to help him along the way.

  • Anon (unverified)

    Mike Caldwell? Damn. What an amazing choice for Democrats in CD5 that would be.

    Proven experience winning a county commissioner race in a strong Republican county.

    Proven leadership in a field (military/National Guard) often reserved for Republicans.

    Proven decision-making skills over a lifetime of service.

    A close personal friend of Darlene Hooley. The title of "General". And a brother who is the editorial page editor of the Oregonian.

    Damn fine candidate!

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    I don't see Mannix tearing the bowels out of anything, given his record of late. And I would happily donate to General Caldwell or any Dem campaign in CD5, especially to deliver yet another humiliating defeat to Mannix.

  • JD (unverified)

    There would be a certain poetic beauty about watching a Kevin Mannix campaign tear the bowels out of a Caldwell candidacy. According to Accel.

    Now that's funny. I've worked with BG Caldwell for a number of years. Articulate, thoughtful, but above all, a US Cavalry Officer with the drive that entails. Mike will make an excellent candidate, a tough competitor, and a great Representative for the people of our district. I would love to see Mannix debate Caldwell, then watch who’s picking up pieces of their anatomy.

  • (Show?)

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