Well, I finally received my ballot in the mail yesterday which means its time for me to lay out my endorsements for our May 20th Primary Election.
Random races that I can't vote it, but still care about:
Beaverton Mayoral Election: Denny Doyle. Yeah, thats right, I care about the Beaverton mayoral election. Residents of Beaverton: Did you know that the mayor of beaverton is the highest paid statewide public official in Oregon? How do you feel about that? Well, thats what you get when a strong mayor (not an adjective, a system of city governance) thats a 16 year incumbent. Beaverton might become the 2nd largest city in our state and I feel its important that people like Bob Drake are kept away from the levers of power.
5th Congressional District Primary: Steve Marks. I haven't been particularly impressed with Kurt Schrader as ways and means committee chairman. As Kitzhaber's chief of staff Steve Marks has worked on some important issues and would bring a more progressive voice to congress, as well as bring a more effective challenge to Mike Erickson or Kevin Mannix (that race will be pretty interesting to say the least).
Races I vote in:
US DEM Presidential Primary: Barack Obama. I've written pretty extensively about my support for Senator Obama. It is both an affirmation of his character and a repudiation of the Clintons and the DLC wing of the Democratic party. Rather than rehash myself I'll refer you to Andrew Sullivan's landmark article "Why Obama Matters" . The guiding principles for me as a primary voter are: Can they win? Can they be effective? Do they share my values? The answer for all three here is YES! Watching him tonight at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in IN only proved this further. YES WE CAN!
US DEM Senate Primary: Jeff Merkley. Its taken me a long time to reach my decision and I find myself at odds with several people whose opinion I deeply respect. But going back to my three questions: Can he win? Yes, I feel Merkley can paint a compelling narrative against Gordon Smith in a general election. Can he be effective? Look no further to his tenure as speaker for proof of that. Does he share my values? I've been pretty disappointed at both Merkley and Novick's senate campaign, but on a host of important issues like predatory lending, the death penalty and education Merkley and I stand united. Do I think Novick could win too? Absolutely, and I will work my ass off at some point as a volunteer to put either of these great candidates in a plane to Washington.
Secretary of State: Kate Brown. As a Brad Avakian supporter it took me a long time to decide between Kate Brown and Vicki Walker. The clincher for me was WWeek's endorsment interview. Kate Brown has command and composure I'd like the person who may end up redistricting our state to have. I think she'll also make an honest effort to keep out of state money from funding so many of our ballot initiatives.
Attorney General: John Kroger, or as I like to call him: J-keezey fo Sheezy. Okay, so I would never really call him that, but I'm sure he'd be down. This cat wrote the book on how to be an effective prosecutor and would expand the role of this already important office in a way that would benefit all Oregonians. This primary is especially important because whoever wins will run unopposed in the general election, unless that Saxton write-in actually takes off.
Portland Mayor: Sam Adams. This comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me well. Back to those three questions, more than any other person listed on my ballot Sam embodies the values I like to see govern public policy, especially in my city. The belief that government CAN be used as an effective tool to make our communities more livable, the belief that we should all benefit from the strength of our community and the belief that we should constantly move forward as a community. I've watched Sam in several debates and read several interviews and I have no doubt that he will be one of the greatest mayors in the history of our city and he may represent the future of our state and our nation. Needless to say: I'm with Sam.
Quick n' Dirty
PDX Commish 1: Amanda Fritz
PDX Commish 2: Jim Middaugh