Jeff Mapes, over at The Oregonian’s political blog, made a comprehensive post concerning the latest third party events in Oregon. This includes news of the Constitution Party and Pacific Green Party’s convention, the Progressive Party’s efforts to get on the ballot, and the Independent Party’s endorsements.
1. The Constitution Party of Oregon will hold a convention June 26 and expects to pick a candidate for governor. So far, Greg Kord, an industrial piping designer from Troutdale, is the likely nominee.
In 2006, the party’s gubernatorial nominee was Mary Starrett, who had some celebrity as a former local broadcaster. She took a respectable 3.6 percent of the vote, which was a little less than half of the margin between the victor, Democrat Ted Kulongoski, and Republican Ron Saxton.
This year, everyone is expecting the governor’s race between Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican Chris Dudley to be much closer. Jack Alan Brown Jr., the Constitution Party’s chairman, said he expects to get Republican pressure not to run a candidate, but he said the Constitution Party folks won’t be deterred.
Dudley’s “positions on social issues leaves a lot to be desired,” said Brown, noting Dudley’s support for keeping abortion legal and for preserving domestic unions for gay couples.
And Kord, who has his campaign web site up, said he’s not worried about bleeding votes away from Dudley.
“I still believe that, Democrat or Republican, we’re still going in the wrong direction,” he said.
2. The Pacific Green Party will hold its convention this Saturday in Eugene. Seth Woolley, party secretary, said it’s still not clear if a candidate will emerge in the race for governor. This party is kind of a mirror image of the Constitution Party in that it has some potential to win votes that would otherwise go to the Democrats. In 2006, Pacific Green nominee Joe Keating received 1.5 percent of the vote.
3. While other minor parties are planning conventions, the Oregon Progessive Party is ramping up a petition campaign to keep its ballot status in Oregon.
The party was formed in 2008 to get presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the Oregon ballot.
To keep its ballot line, the party needs some 1,380 registrants by Aug. 4, more than a thousand more than it had at last count. Portland lawyer Jason Kafoury, who works closely with Nader, said the Progressive Party was able to raise about $5,000 during Nader’s visit to Portland last month.
That money will go into a petitioning effort as well as some online activities, he said. Still, added Kafoury with a sigh, “It’s harder to get people to join a party than to sign initiatives.”