Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wyden welcomes Westlund to Camp D

As TJ reported below, Oregon State Senator Ben Westlund has crossed over into the light completely.

Appropriately, Oregon's senior Senator Ron Wyden welcomed Ben into the fold with open arms:

Dear Ben,

Congratulations and welcome to your new home in the Democratic Party. This is a very exciting development for Oregon.

As you and I have discussed in the past, for too long Oregon Democrats have been denied the ideas and sensibilities of the dry part of the state. From small business issues to rural health care and natural resources, I know you're going to bring a fresh perspective to Democrats on a host of critical issues. I have long considered you one of the very best and brightest members of the legislature, and I know you will enjoy enormous support from your new caucus as you work on health care, tax fairness, school funding and the other issues that have long been your passion.

While I have always enjoyed working closely with you to help Central Oregon, please know that I remain on-call whenever you identify an area or issue where the federal government can be of help to you or your constituents.

In friendship,


In typical Wyden style, Ron offers the kind of warm friendship we've come to know and expect from him.

It will be interesting to see how the constituents of Westlund's district react to the switch. Bend is still red country, albeit starting to take on a distinct hint of purple. Perhaps some of our friends from that region might weigh in--comments obviously welcome.

In terms of statewide interest, this boosts Westlund enormously for office outside the state legislature.

Could this be the first step toward taking on Gordon Smith in 08? Stay tuned.