| OR-5 is one of the most vulnerable Democratic-held seats this cycle, as the current Democratic incumbent Darlene Hooley has decided to resign. Rep. Hooley won this swing-district, which actually has a Republican registration plurality, by typically about 10% based on her moderate voting record, and as an open seat it is being hotly contested in the Republican primary.
For more background, see my previous diary on this topic: http://www.dailykos.com/...
Today, the strongest and most well-known Republican candidate, Kevin Mannix, made his official declaration, setting off what will likely be a bloody primary on the Repubilcan side.
Update: The MSM is finally starting to report this: blog.oregonlive.com/politics/2008/03/mannix_makes_it_official_hes_r.html
as is the most prominent Oregon political blog:
|Presently, the only site mentioning this is a right-wing blog that I won't link, especially as they don't provide any substantive information or links, but Kevin Mannix had already announced his intention to announce "something" this morning, and it was widely anticipated that he would run, so this hardly breaking news.
However, it is worth knowing that Kevin Mannix previously represented parts of this rural/suburban/urban mixed district as a state legislator, and has run (and lost) for statewide office FOUR times previously (AGx2, Governorx2), so he has wide name recognition and conservative credentials, especially as the former head of the Oregon GOP. He will be a very strong candidate in the primary and general election.
The other declared Republican candidate, Mike Erickson, is an independently wealthy businessman who mainly self-financed a losing effort against Darlene Hooley last time, losing 54-43 in 2006. He is generally considered a fairly bland candidate without prior experience in government or elected office who has not articulated specific policy positions. This is in strong contrast to Kevin Mannix, who has made a small fortune in the past few years by pushing multiple ballot measures onto the ballot, and has a vast electoral experience of staking out conservative stances on issues.
One tidbit from the right-wing website was that Mannix apparently has a 37% edge in a head-to-head poll against Erickson, so he's going to have to pile in a ton of his cash to make that up.
Personally, I think this contest will be a tough hold for the Democrats this fall, but it is possible. The most prominent Democrat candidate (of two), Kurt Schrader, is a pretty good candidate as a State Senator who has a good background on rural and suburban issues, and though he is more conservative than I would like, he may be a wash for Darlene votewise. For the sake of completeness, another Democrat, Steve Marks, former chief-of-staff to popular former Democratic governor John Kitzhaber, has also recently declared for this seat. He is suspected to be more progressive than Schrader, but with a far lower name recognition and a lack of an established constituency.
Finally, I'd like to see how the left-wing perspective on a contested primary here for the Republicans compares with what we feel about the contested primary for the Democratic presidential nomination, i.e. can a contested primary be "bad" for them in this district, but "good" for the Democrats? or are they both "bad" or "good"?
Cross-posted at dailykos: