Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mike Caudle Announces Run for HD39 in 2008

Talk about a quick rebound rate! In an email from 'failed' state House Democratic candidate Mike Caudle, he has confirmed that after a recharging weekend out of state with family, he is tanned (figuratively, obviously--he spent the weekend in Seattle, where tans go to die), rested and ready to run again:
I am running for State Rep again in 2008. The campaign starts now, well in a few months. I am planning on spending the 18 months after [returning to coach high school] wrestling holding the Waynerator accountable to the citizens of OC and Canby and being involved even more in the district building toward the 2008 election.
This is exciting news, because--coupled with rumors that Sal Peralta may be considering a rematch against Donna Nelson in HD24--it means even our LOSING candidates are still energized and looking towards a future where they can make a difference.

Incumbent Wayne Scott was re-elected by Republicans as House Minority Leader, which to me is on a politically dubious par with the national GOP giving Trent Lott a leadership position--why are they recycling negative emblems from previous terms to be the face of the party? Like Lott, Scott will quickly discover that life in the minority is a lot less fun, particularly when you had already had a taste of being on top. It's almost entirely speculation at this point, but the scuttlebutt indicates that Scott may opt against another term in 2009, which of course would make any Democrat's job in winning the seat a lot easier.

Demographically, the district has a slight edge in registered Republicans and a relatively high rate of NAVs, so it's certainly winnable. But the key will be what Caudle pointed out in his statement--educating HD39 voters about what Wayne Scott has REALLY been up to, and building the party and his own name recognition from the ground up. Caudle's biggest strength in the recent campaign was his ability to connect with voters at the door and in meetings with the public, and that's crucial for someone who is relatively young and lacks a typical pre-political resume'.

As glad as we've felt about the candidates who won last Tuesday and will be headed to Salem to change things, there's a little melancholy about those who fell short--so news like this warms the soul. Sometimes all it takes is one unsuccessful run to introduce yourself to voters, to earn their confidence that you're serious the next time around. Hopefully other challengers from the strong candidate class of 2006 will eventually consider a return fight in 2008, and will remain active in the party until then, working to cement gains achieved this year.