Saturday, February 04, 2006

State Dems Kick Off Bid to Re-Seat Gelser

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Now, Oregon and Democrats being the activists and talkers that they are, do an awful lot of meeting and hearing and debating and changing and tasking. For instance, I've walked out of more than one Portland conference room and heard with a plaintive sigh, "Portland: the City that Meets." Which means we'll get a lot of mail, and that's OK.

We will guard against becoming a classified section, or a bulletin board for the next school meeting in Prineville, and the street widening enviro impact hearing in John Day. We'll try to keep it issue-based, but sometimes announcements themselves can be news.

Such is this offering from the Benton County Democrats, hosting a high powered campaign sendoff party for a woman who's never even been elected:
House Democratic Leadership Team:

Rep. Jeff Merkley, Rep. Phil Barnhart, Rep. Peter Buckley, Rep. Dave Hunt, Rep. Arnie Roblan, Rep. Diane Rosenbaum, and Rep. Chip Shields

To celebrate the newest member of the House Democratic Caucus


And help kick off her campaign for State Representative - District 16!
Newest member by appointment, after the embarrassing departure of Kelley Wirth. This is a very strong show of support from the caucus, as well it should be--the Democrats need to hang on to this seat to stay on track for winning the House, and Gelser's mettle will be tested.

In some ways she will have to campaign with Wirth's departure as a shadow, and may have to do extra (mostly superficial) work showing her bona fides as "not Kelley." But from what I can ascertain she has a good resume for the statehouse, is well grounded in the community, and got a rare trial-run as a legislator before winning an election. We'll see what kind of race she's in when the filing deadline closes, but I think the party is confident she can hold the seat with a little support. If you're near Corvallis and want to provide some, they'll be holding out palms Thursday, February 9 from 7 to 830 at the Salbasgeon Suites, MacKenzie Room, 1730 9th Street. RSVP at 541-760-2115, and they kindly ask you to favor them with a suggested minimum contribution of $25 per person. Maybe in return, you can grill some of the attending Members on just how they plan to snatch the legislature back in November: take down the white whale*, or try to spread mojo across the state?

*literary reference only