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Entries in Jason Conger (3)

Wednesday
Apr162014

The GOP Race for a Senate Seat

In just a few weeks, Oregonians will begin to vote for candidates in the May primary. One of the most contentious races this cycle is the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. State Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend) and Portland physician Monica Wehby are fighting it out for the opportunity to face incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley this fall.

The race has all kinds of drama for inside politicos — from the ongoing battle of a conservative vs. moderate candidate fight in Republican primaries to how the candidates are funded. Of particular interest of late is the Wehby/Andrew Miller of Stimson Lumber romantic relationship and the so-called lack of coordination between Wehby’s campaign and the pro-Wehby superpac funded, in part, by Stimson. All of this drama makes for interesting political gossip among the chattering class in Oregon.

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Monday
Oct102011

It Only Takes One

With the 2012 election now 13 months away, Oregon House leaders are aggressively recruiting candidates to run against incumbents or fill open seats. The stakes are high for leaders of the Oregon House. A swing of one seat for either party will ensure control of the chamber in 2013 when the legislature meets for its next full session.

House Co-Speakers Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, and Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg, have displayed a great deal of bipartisanship as they shared control of a 30-30 House. But the real prize is outright control where one party sets the policy agenda, control committees and negotiates with the Senate and Governor.

That's what made the action last week to strip Rep. Mike Schaufler, D-Happy Valley, of his co-chairmanship of House Business and Labor, so engrossing. If Schaufler, who is accused of groping a woman at the recent Oregon AFL-CIO convention, were to resign or not seek re-election over the incident, his House seat could become an immediate target of opportunity in the battle for control, even with a 19 percent Democratic registration edge. As it is, both Democratic and Republican leaders are cautiously optimistic of gaining control in 2013.

Democrats believe redistricting approved in the 2011 session gives them a leg-up in districts that Republicans grabbed from them in the 2010 "GOP landslide" election. For example, the Clackamas County seat held by Rep. Patrick Sheehan went from a 2.8 percent Democratic registration edge to 7.2 percent and the Bend seat held by Rep. Jason Conger went from 2.5 percent to 5.6 percent.

They also are confident they can grab back the seat held by Hillsboro freshman Rep. Katie Eyre Brewer. However, the Democratic nominee must survive a high-profile primary fight. Katie Riley, who lost to Eyre Brewer in 2010 and is the wife of former Rep. Chuck Riley, wants a rematch. However, political operative Ben Unger has decided to run for the seat. His family runs Unger Farms, a prominent local business.

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Monday
Aug082011

New Leaders Emerge from 2011 Session

Here are House members the CFM state affairs team views as emerging leaders based on their performance in the 2011 Oregon legislative session:

  • Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood RiverRep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River.  He was a virtual unknown coming to Salem after beating an incumbent Democratic member last November. His only previous government experience was chairing the Hood River School Board. Almost instantly, Johnson gained respect by legislators and lobbyists for his quick study, hard work and straightforward demeanor. He was a key behind-the-scenes player for the House GOP on education reform legislation. His success has been rewarded by being named co-chair of the interim House Higher Education Committee (just a subcommittee during the session). Many believe Johnson will be a key player on state education policy for years to come.
  • Rep. Val Hoyle, D-EugeneRep. Val Hoyle, D-Eugene.  2011 was Hoyle's first full session after being appointed to the House in late 2009. She is considered likable, smart and always fun to be around. For a new member, she made a big impact on her committees:  Business and Labor, Health Care and Higher Education. Republicans like her because of her business background and reputation as a straight shooter. She is in a safe Democratic seat, so she could serve for a long time. 

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