In Oregon’s governor’s race there Constitution Party in 2006 scored around 50,000 votes, or 3.6%, with Mary Starrett at the helm. In the US Senate race in 2008, the Constitution Party candidate–Dave Brownlow–racked up over 92,000 votes for a total of 5.24%. This track record has lead some prognosticators to suggest that the Constitution Party of Oregon will have a major effect on the outcome of November’s statewide elections.
Lunch said other candidates could emerge, such as Portland lawyer John DiLorenzo, who as a lobbyist has business clients and has worked closely with Republicans in the past. DiLorenzo would have to gather signatures to qualify as an independent candidate.Or, because Dudley favors abortion rights, a candidate opposed to them could draw votes. Mary Starrett filled that role as the Constitution Party nominee in 2006, winning 50,000 votes, 3.6 percent of the total cast — although they still would not have been enough for Republican Ron Saxton to overcome Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
Starrett trailed by 13 votes in a nonpartisan race for Yamhill County commissioner that will trigger an automatic recount. She disavowed another run for statewide office.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s her or somebody else,” Lunch said. “The Constitution Party’s track record in statewide races in recent elections is about 4 or 5 percent. With a pro-choice Republican candidate in place, the Constitution Party’s numbers go up a little bit. Leaving aside DiLorenzo, the presence of a Constitution Party candidate on the ballot is a real problem for Republicans.”
It is not yet known who might run for US Senate or for Governor with the Constitution Party of Oregon.