Why bother? The GOP approach to Portland metro area

The Portland Tribune reported last week on the pathetic effort put forth this year by the Oregon GOP to contest legislative races in the Portland metro area.

A handful of Democratic candidates will have a big advantage in this year’s election. The Republican Party of Oregon is not running candidates in 10 House races in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.

Democrats won’t be challenged in House districts 31 (Sauvie Island and Scappoose to Astoria), 33 (Northwest Portland, northern Washington County), 40 (Gladstone and unincorporated Clackamas County), 42 (Southeast Portland and Ladd’s Addition area), 43 (inner Northeast, part of North Portland), 44 (North Portland, Northeast Portland around the airport), 45 (Northeast Portland to Interstate 205, Maywood Park), 46 (on both sides of 82nd Avenue south of Interstate 84), 47 (east Portland between I-205 and Gresham) and 48 (Powell Butte area, Happy Valley).

It is the first time in six years that no Republican will be on the ballot in many of the districts. Since 2002, Republicans have skipped races only in House districts 31 and 45 a couple of times, running candidates in nearly all the other districts in 2004 and 2006.

Statewide, there are no Republicans in 18 House races, most of them in areas where Democrats hold large voter-registration leads.


  • Insider (unverified)

    The House R's don't really stand for anything anymore, so it's not a surprise that they can't recruit candidates to run as Republicans.

    I predict that the House Dems will continue to add new seats!

  • Big Deal (unverified)

    Is this any different than the fact that there are not Democrat challengers in SD 28, 29 or 30?

    It seems like the same idea -- if we are going to lose big, there isn't much of a reason to put a lot of effort into it.

  • CPMCD (unverified)

    Yea... well I guess they are financially smart not to even try as they would only be throwin money at something which they have no chance changin...


  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    So .....

    If you want your influence to go further, and a Democratic legislature is the way to make that happen, then send your dollars down south or over east to a District race where they can make a difference. Money is always welcome!

  • Murphy (unverified)

    Man, I'd love nothing more than to have a Republican show up on my doorstep in SE Portland asking for my vote. I'd have a few questions for him or her.

  • DJD (unverified)

    To Murphy: What kind of questions would you have?

  • ilovehanna (unverified)

    The amazing thing isn't that they decided not to contest some Portland House seats, but that they failed to find opponents against three House Democrats who knocked off incumbent Republicans in 2006. It is an indication of a) how bad the Republican brand is right now; b) how ineffective Hanna is as a recruiter; and c) that members of his own caucus are waiting for him to fail. Failure to recruit even token opponents to Cowan, Clem, and C. Edwards (all moderate, non-Portland seats) is a $1 million mistake. And failure to find legitimate opponents to Komp, Beyer, Roblan (even Republicans loath Al Pearn) means that all those open seats (vacated Minnis, Scott, Patti Smith) and vulnerable Republicans are just that more vulnerable. If I'm John Lim, Linda Flores, or John Huffman I'm real pissed that Hanna couldn't put together a decent bench in those seats. Failure to find opponents to Kotek, Cannon, Shields and others is the least of Hanna's worries. Has anyone else noticed how quiet Richardson and Olson have been? No one, except for Whisnant, is rising to defend Hanna's record as caucus leader.

  • Garlynn -- undergroundscience.blogspot.com (unverified)

    So, does this mean that, within the tri-county area, this is in effect single-party rule? Should the Pacific Green Party of Oregon start running challengers, just to maintain at least the appearance of democracy?

  • Observer (unverified)

    And who do you suppose the voters will blame (deservedly or otherwise) after the recession hits OR?

    The ORGOP is dumb like a fox. Enjoy the Pyrrhic victories.

  • Rulial (unverified)

    Big Deal, I think it's a mistake for a party to write off any district. Howard Dean's 50-state strategy showed us this on the national level.

    Observer, are you saying that Democrats should be unhappy about winning elections because we might get the blame when the recession hits? I think it's a risk worth taking.

    Garlynn, I agree that having lopsided districts isn't good for the health of democracy. Essentially, if you live in these districts, you need to be a registered Democrat to have any influence over who is eventually elected. I think this is a bit unfair to non-affiliated voters. (Perhaps this is an excellent opportunity for the Pacific Greens to build their party.)

    <h2>One possible solution is the One Ballot initiative.</h2>
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