OR-5: Allen Alley?

AlleyallenOn his blog, the Oregonian's Jeff Mapes reports that Allen Alley is considering running for Congress in the 5th District.

Who is Allen Alley? For starters, he's a Republican. But he's also one of two deputy chiefs of staff for Governor Ted Kulongoski. And he's a former high-tech CEO.

Allen Alley, one of two deputy chiefs of staff to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, said he is looking at running in the seat. He also happens to be a Republican, and it would be interesting to see how GOP voters would react to a candidate who has worked for the Democratic governor.

Alley, 53, of Lake Oswego, became well-known in Oregon business circles as the CEO of Tualatin-based Pixelworks, a struggling semiconducter company. He's provided some business balance to a top governor's staff weighted to organized labor.

He had previously been rumored to be considering a run for State Treasurer.

Several months ago, Alley looked at the possibility of running for state treasurer, and at least one GOP insider I talked with said Alley could still end up seeking that office. Alley refused to talk about the treasurer's job, saying only, "I would just say I'm considering the 5th District."

A Republican CEO who is a top staffer for a Democratic Governor? Would that help him or hurt him in the general election? Would that help him or hurt him in a GOP primary?


  • (Show?)

    Mr.Alley is best known among business people through out the state. His name recognition is low. He's a moderate Republican. Mr. Alley has been approached by Republicans to run for an office for over a year now. Until now, he's resisted their pleas to run. Time will tell if Mr. Alley chooses to make a run for any position. Given the political climate in Oregon it might be the wrong year to run as an R for any office. Governor Kulongoski has placed Republicans in key positions (head of the Economic Development Department is an R) in an effort to work across the aisle.

  • LT (unverified)

    If there are registered Republicans who are tired of the brainlessness of major candidates, this is someone they could support. It would be a real test of "Republican primary voters believe...". When was the last time there was a serious candidate for such a major office running as a Republican?

  • (Show?)

    Allen is a great guy and worth supporting if he can avoid pulling a Ron Saxton and selling out to the Republican right to get through the primary. I remain unconvinced that the Republicans can nominate someone as rational and even-handed as Allen if he sticks to his guns and doesn't line up with the current Republican leadership. He already starts with the disadvantage of working for a Democratic governor. However, if the Republicans are desperate enough to actually try to win a campaign and nominate someone competant like Allen you could have the situation of two of the governor's staff, Allen and Paul Evans running against each other in the general.

  • Opinionated (unverified)

    Allen is very well known in the high tech community in Portland and is considered to a be solid individual. He may not be well known but he would serve his constituents well. Its about time smart and honest people irrespective of their political affiliation get elected to Congress.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)

    Note: Kulongoski is NOT a Democrat.

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    Don't be silly, Peter. Of course Ted Kulongoski is a Democrat.

    You may not like his positions on issues, his leadership style, etc. but he is certainly a member of the Democratic Party.

  • (Show?)

    As someone who supported a candidate other than Kulongoski in the '06 primary, I can say without hesitation that Kulongoski is definitely a Democrat.

    I wasn't too happy with his first term, which is why I supported someone else. But that is what primaries are about - picking the candidate in your party who you think would do the best job.

    But once the primary was over, there was no question who I was going to support, and that was Kulongoski.

    I've been a lot happier with his second term and wish he'd been more like this during his first 4 years in office.

    I may not always agree with him, but he's definitely a Democrat.

  • JHL (unverified)

    Wait, wait... I want to try it too:

    Peter Bray is NOT a Democrat.

  • Jen (unverified)

    My brother-in-law used to work for Alley's company Pixelworks. He and many former employees were shocked that Kulongoski hired Alley since they believe that he drove Pixelworks into the ground and would have been unemployed himself if the governor hadn't thrown him a life saver. Wasn't Pixelworks delisted from Nasdaq because the stock value was so low? I don't know the details but I am sure it will all come out in the campaign. Nonetheless, it would be nice to have a relatively moderate Republican in the campaign if he could survive the primary, but I doubt that the he would be embraced by the GOP rank and file.

  • LT (unverified)

    This is the mistake made by people of both parties--assuming the registered voters of a party all think alike:

    I doubt that the he would be embraced by the GOP rank and file. <<

    As Rush Limbaugh and others have learned nationally, and as members of both parties have learned in Oregon over the years (most spectacularly when Hart so overwhelmingly beat Mondale in 1984 with 95% of the established party people supported Mondale or were neutral), there are 2 reasons to question that statement.

    1) Every election cycle there are new voters who didn't vote in previous elections (just became old enough, moved in from elsewhere, etc.). 2) The idea that once having voted a certain way all voters will never change their minds is brainless. Look at the voters in states with open primaries where voters have been interviewed saying things like "I'm trying to decide whether McCain or Obama will bring the kind of change I want".

    Many Oregonians vote for the individual rather than the party, and in some cases register in a party if someone they know is running in a contested primary---knowing they can change their registration after the election.

  • Garret Romaine (unverified)

    As a former Pixelworker, I am intrigued by the thought of Allen Alley running for Congress. He was alwasy very open with business information, particularly early in the company's history, and I found him very approachable. I kind of regret not giving him more crap about his politics, however, as a rich Democrat is a lot sexier than a rich Republican.

  • Jesse B. (unverified)

    Looks like there is no shortage of old white guys lining up for their turn in Congress.

  • Alison (unverified)

    I have never worked for Allen Alley nor have I ever worked with him. I do know him as a person and can without a doubt gurarantee the following:

    1. He is the most honest and forthright person I have ever met. He is the type of person who gets extra change at the supermarket and takes it back, no matter how small the amount.

    2. He is one of the hardest workers when it comes to anything he puts his mind to. There is no 1/2 way or 50%, it's all the way at 110%.

    3. His mind is very analytical and logical, however, he has a compassion and understanding of people, creating a good balance for making decisions.

    I think if Allen Alley runs for Congress, the state of Oregon would be very lucky to have a Congress representative like him.

    There is no better person for the job and Oregon would prosper from his service.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)

    If Allen Alley gets through the GOP primary, he would be a tough candidate in November.

    But to get through the GOP primary in the 5th district, he either

    a) has to have no significant opposition

    b) has to pander to the right wing of the party, a la Saxton and, unfortunately, John McCain; or

    c) has to depend on an uncommon and unexpected outbreak of common sense and moderation among the Republican primary electorate.

    My bet is that in January 2009 the 5th district will remain represented by a Democrat.

  • NICK (unverified)

    Sorry, but Republicans have lost their way with respect to a "home base" for conservatives. Therefore, we conservatives will be reeeeal careful where we put our support money and our votes. If Al is looking for support form CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS, he'll have to "show us the money".

  • Dan (unverified)

    Who is he? A weasel who, during his time at Pixelworks, shipped every engineering job there to China, even R & D. Someone who gave the full $2000 to Bush in 2004 to see him speak. Someone who lies with the effortlessness of a true Republican. He's a moderate like Gordon Smith.

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