DeFazio for Governor?

Willamette Week is reporting that Peter DeFazio is strongly considering a run for Governor in 2010.

Overheard by two reliable sources: U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio telling an Oct. 16 lunch meeting of the Democratic Party of Oregon’s Presidents Club: “Assuming we get Obama elected and a good highway bill [out of the House Transportation Committee, on which DeFazio sits], I’m coming back and I’m running [for governor] in 2010,” said DeFazio (D-Springfield). DeFazio was traveling Tuesday but a staffer acknowledged he’s “been thinking out loud about his options.”

In an editorial yesterday, the Eugene Register-Guard speculated as well:

[DeFazio] is thinking that his 12th term could be his last. He’s contemplating running for governor in 2010, which would cause several long lines of political dominoes to fall. ...

DeFazio would have to wait a long time to take the next step up the leadership ladder. He’s third in line to become chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and would have to stand in line for a decade or so to inherit the gavel. He’s always detested the continual travel between Oregon and Washington, D.C. DeFazio is thinking he might shepherd the next big six-year transportation funding bill through his subcommittee next year, declare an end to his career in the Capitol, stop accumulating frequent flier miles and seek to succeed two-term Gov. Ted Kulongoski. ...

The congressman’s formula for political success in the 4th District — appealing to urban voters with his progressivism and rural voters with his populism — could be a winner statewide.


  • Dave (unverified)

    As a former Eugene resident now stuck in Marion County, I absolutely love Peter DeFazio. He'd have my vote any day.

  • (Show?)

    DeFazio for governor would be interesting.

    So who are we looking at for taking up DeFazio's seat? It would be nice to be able to have a head start on that. Kurt Schrader's done fairly well for the short period of time he's had, and I'd hate to see a repeat of that.

  • Marshall Collins (unverified)

    DeFazio would be a great governor. He is much loved in these parts and I think he would put on a great campaign. Who would take over his seat has me a bit worried. There are some conservative local politicans in this area that could put on a really good campaign and are decently liked by a lot fo people. Especially Sid Leiken, Springfields mayor and possibly Jim Torrey. On the progressive side there is a host of state legislators and county commissioners that would have a lot of backing in the metro area but would have a heck of a fight in some of the more rual areas. Rep. Terry Beyer and Sen Morrisette probably have the most populist street cred in this area but I don't think there is too much name recognition that extends past Springfield

  • (Show?)

    US President: Barack Obama US Senator: Jeff Merkley OR Governor: Peter DeFazio What could possibly top that?

    Convicted Prisoner for Crimes against Humanity: George W Bush Convicted Prisoner for Crimes against Humanity: Richard Cheney Convicted Prisoner for Election Tampering, Fraud, Contempt of Congress, etc: Karl Rove Inmate at the Asylum for Sexual Deviants and Criminally Insane: Bill O'Reilly

  • Jamie (unverified)

    As a former Eugene resident now stuck in Multnomah County, I absolutely love Peter DeFazio. He'd have my vote any day.

  • DanOregon (unverified)

    I'm trying to come up with a credible Republican candidate for governor and the only one I can think of is .....Gordon Smith. Though if the GOP came up with a pro-choice female candidate, perhaps a CEO of a well-known business, they might have a shot.

  • jrw (unverified)

    Add me to the list of former Eugene-Springfield residents (now stuck in PDX) who'd go for DeFazio.

  • Vico (unverified)

    Sign me on.

    What's the scuttlebutt on other Dems considering the race? Not Mr. Measure 65, I hope.


  • Stefan (unverified)

    I'd love to see DeFazio in the seat, but what about his district? It's a lot more swingy than his record would suggest.

  • edison (unverified)

    Perfect! If he runs, he'll have my support.

  • brett (unverified)

    It was a pleasure to vote for DeFazio when I lived in Eugene, and it will be a pleasure to vote for him Gov too. As for his replacement, Leiken is dangerous, Pete Sorenson would have to be the early progressive front runner, but keep your eye on Tom Lininger, now a prof at the UO law school but who previously was elected to the Lane county commission with support from across the political spectrum. He had a progressive record until resigning to take the law school job, and he will be a major player in state and maybe national politics someday.

  • AdamL (unverified)

    As a Duck living in Mult. County I also miss DeFazio. He has the rare trait of being larger than life about his convictions and yet humble about himself. I remember when he declined to have the pedestrian bridge in Eugene named after him. But it was named after him anyways and rightly so.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)

    Bob T:

    He'd be a lot better than sleaze-ball Bradbury.

    And AdamL said:

    I remember when he declined to have the pedestrian bridge in Eugene named after him. But it was named after him anyways and rightly so.

    Bob T:

    Why? Did he provide the pork for it? Even if he did not, I'm tired of seeing most things named after people. The worst case is the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse (named after a senator who served far too long and who inserted riders into timber-cutting bills that kept opponents of the cutting from having their automatic day in court to appeal. It should have been named the Cascade Federal Courthouse, or Mt. Hood Federal Courthouse or something. Same with the Pedestrian Bridge in Eugene.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    I think it's fair to say that, out of the OR delegation, DeFazio is the favorite of Democratic activists. On the issue of trade/globalization, in particular, he is the one who can always be counted on to stand up to corporations against jobs going oversees, and he does a great job of balancing environmental concerns with trying to keep/create good industrial jobs, which gives him rural appeal.

    I do know some DeFazio fans who aren't sure that his rabble rousing style would be as effective in the state house as in the U.S. House, but there are many of us quite willing to put that to a test.

  • Justin (unverified)

    DeFazio is wonderful and would certainly clear out the Democratic field. We would be spoiled to have him as Governor. As a Lane Co. resident and Dem, I feel that Sorenson is probably the early favorite for the seat. He's a three-term County Commissioner and he still has popularity and name recognition from running for Gov, and being a senator/lawyer around here. I guess we all just have to hope Obama wins and DeFazio decides Salem is a more favorable commute than D.C.

  • Jacob (unverified)

    Ex-Roseburger now stuck in MultCo. Oregon needs this!!

  • brad (unverified)

    Defazio would be a great governor. He is loved in liberal eugene and conservative springfield, Douglas and Coos County. Sid Leiken would be a great choice to replace him. A John Dellenback type of Republican. Sid is a fiscal conservative, managed growth, social liberal that would work great in Eugene, Roseburg, and Coos Bay. As mayor of Springfield he has to be non-partisan which will work well in DC. He will work hard for the 4th District.

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