Businesswoman Amy Ryan Courser (R), who lost to veteran Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby/Salem), 52-45% in November, filed a 2022 congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission thus taking the first step toward a re-match. Ms. Courser came within seven percentage points of the Congressman despite spending only $215,000 on her campaign in a non-targeted race.
Oregon is expected to gain a new congressional seat in 2020 reapportionment, meaning the 5th District, like all others in the state, will drastically change for the 2022 election.
Dundee, OR Mayor David Russ (R) has filed a 2022 congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission to challenge five-term Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington County/Beaverton). Since her original election in a 2012 special vote to replace resigned Rep. David Wu (D-OR), Ms. Bonamici has had little trouble securing re-election, averaging 61.1% of the vote in her five re-election campaigns.
Oregon is slated to gain a new congressional district in the coming reapportionment, so all of the state’s existing five CDs will significantly change. Dundee is a small community of just over 3,000 people located southwest of the Portland metropolitan area in Yamhill County. The presumed new 1st District will almost assuredly again be cast as safely Democratic, so this emerging race will not likely become competitive.
Physician Bud Pierce, who was the Republican nominee in the 2016 special gubernatorial election and lost to then-acting Gov. Kate Brown (D), 51-44%, said yesterday that he will run again in 2022. The Oregon gubernatorial position will be open in two years because Gov. Brown is ineligible to seek re-election under the state’s term limit law.
As we look to the next election cycle that will feature a preponderance of 38 gubernatorial bids, several will be open due to state term limit laws. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is the only state chief executive limited to just one term, is barred from seeking re-election in 2021. The 2022 open gubernatorial races are: Arizona (Gov. Doug Ducey-R), Arkansas (Gov. Asa Hutchinson-R), Hawaii, (Gov. David Ige-D), Maryland (Gov. Larry Hogan-R), Nebraska (Gov. Pete Ricketts-R), Oregon (Gov. Kate Brown-D), Pennsylvania (Gov. Tom Wolf-D), and Rhode Island (Gov. Gina Raimondo-D).
Former Vice President Joe Biden registered a rather uninspiring performance in the Oregon presidential primary last night, scoring a 68% win but against an entire field of candidates who long ago exited the race. All other Democratic incumbents running in the same type of low competition elections all recorded over 81% of the primary vote. Whether Mr. Biden’s performance suggests that he still has not convinced a large share of the Sanders-Warren coalition to support his candidacy remains to be seen.
In the open 2nd District with Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) retiring from the lone Republican CD in the state, which encompasses the entire eastern sector, is open for the first time since 1998. Defeating 2018 GOP gubernatorial nominee Knute Buehler is former state Senator Cliff Bentz, who ran well to the former man’s right. The primary was a crowded affair with 11 candidates on the ballot. Mr. Bentz is now the prohibitive favorite to win here in November.
The only other even slightly competitive primary occurred in the Salem anchored 5th District where veteran incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) was re-nominated over local Mayor Mark Gamba with 70% of the vote. Rep. Schrader will now have an easy general election run.
Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno (D) announced that the May 19th state primary will remain in place. Ms. Clarno indicated that because the state uses a universal mail system for its regular elections there is no increased risk of spreading the Coronavirus. Therefore, the Oregon primary will proceed as scheduled. Other states, such as Ohio, are considering switching to the all-mail format in response to taking extra precautions.
The Oregon candidate filing deadline has now passed in preparation for the state primary on May 19th. Four of the state’s five incumbent House members are seeking re-election, with former House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) retiring after serving 11 terms when the current Congress concludes.
Vying to replace him in the safely Republican seat are 11 candidates headed by 2018 gubernatorial nominee and ex-state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend). Within the large field are two former state Senators. Mr. Buehler clearly has the highest name identification among the candidates, and a crowded field in a plurality primary suggests that he must be considered the early favorite for the party nomination.
All four incumbents seeking re-election face primary challenges from multiple candidates, but only one, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Salem), has an elected official running. Milwaukie Mayor Matt Gamba is making the race. His city sits seven miles south of Portland and is a community of slightly over 20,000 individuals. Rep. Schrader is the prohibitive favorite, but Mr. Gamba could generate more support than the other frequent candidates who adorn the ballot elsewhere in the state.
The Oregon candidate filing deadline has just passed, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) looks like a sure bet to win a third term in November. Four Republicans filed against Sen. Merkley, all individuals who have run for other offices without success. Former Linn County Republican Party chair and 2014 US Senate nominee Jo Rae Perkins returns for another attempt at ousting Sen. Merkley, but her chances are slim at best.
Sen. Merkley was interested in running for President, but upon failing to convince state legislative leadership and the Governor of his own party to change state law to allow candidates to run for more than one office simultaneously, Mr. Merkley retreated to the safety of his Senate seat.
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
Eleven-term Oregon Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released a statement late yesterday saying that he will not seek re-election next year to the position he originally won in 1998. Mr. Walden is the ranking Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and was chairman when Republicans held the majority. He is also a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman.
The 2nd District occupies 19 eastern Oregon counties and part of one other. It is the lone safe Republican seat in the state (Trump ’16: 57-37; Romney ’12: 57-41%). There are now 30 open seats for the next House election, 21 of which come from the Republican column.
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