Oregon Progressive Party Nominates Candidates, Skips Gubernatorial Race

Richard Winger reports at Ballot Access News:

The ballot-qualified Progressive Party of Oregon held a nominating convention on August 19, and nominated five congressional candidates, one nominee for state office, and two for partisan county office.  The nominee for State Office is Walt Brown, who is running for Treasurer.  Brown was also the Socialist Party’s presidential nominee in 2004.

The congressional candidates are:  for U.S. Senate, Rick Staggenborg; for U.S. House, 1st district, Chris Henry; 3rd district, Michael Meo; 4th district, Mike Beilstein; 5th district, Chris Lugo. 

The nominated slate represents a major setback for Soloflex founder and gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Wilson.

…the Oregon Progressive Party decided Thursday night not to run a candidate in the governor’s race.  That was a blow for Soloflex founder Jerry Wilson, who was hoping to be the Progressive candidate for governor in November.

Now, Wilson … says he will probably continue to run as a write-in candidate. [note: another source claims the candidate is “unsure” about conducting such a campaign]

But a write-in candidacy won’t have nearly the power to draw votes.  And the way it shapes up, Kitzhaber won’t have any candidates running to the left of him.  At the same time, Republican nominee Chris Dudley has to cope with two candidates on the political right: the Constitution Party’s Greg Kord and Libertarian Wes Wagner

Greg Kafoury, a founder of the Progressive Party, said there were concerns about Wilson’s plan to run an internet-only campaign.  Wilson said Friday morning that he was told the party didn’t think he could get at least one percent of the vote (which minor parties generally need to do in at least one statewide race to keep their ballot status).

One poll of the gubernatorial race had Jerry Wilson at 7% support. Now that the candidate has no place on the ballot, such a result is practically unattainable.

It must be noted that the Progressive Party is not the only leftist party declining to participate in the gubernatorial contest – the Pacific Green Party is too.

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