It seems like there is a fundraiser almost every day as Democrats and Republicans jockey for position heading into the 2012 election year. Of course, the key to setting the stage for tough campaigns is raising the money to fund them, and that is aggressively under way.
As Statesman-Journal political writer Peter Wong commented, many eyes are focused on the House, where currently control is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. To be sure, there will be campaigns for many House seats that could turn the tide in the direction of one party or the other.
- House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, has announced he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Joanne Verger, also a Democrat. That puts the Roblan House seat in play.
- Farther north on the Coast, Rep. Jean Cowan, D-Newport, indicated she will retire at the end of her term. Republicans have a genuine shot at reclaiming the seat they held for several terms before Cowan took the seat.
Democrats expect to retain House seats they hold in the Portland and Eugene areas. But to win back control, Democrats must regain seats in suburban areas of Portland that they lost in a sweep that erased their supermajority in the 2009 session and resulted in the 30-30 split in the 2011 session. This won't be easy, the GOP victors in 2010 are now incumbents and many can boast solid freshmen years in the legislature.