The Oregon Working Families Party is a sister-affiliate of the Working Families Party of New York, but it is a party which has yet to live up to the New York affiliate’s accomplishments. However, the party did play a role in a recent election through effective organizing and getting involved in Democratic primaries.
However, the party certainly found a role for itself in Tuesday’s primary when it helped Democrat Jeff Reardon oust Rep. Mike Schaufler of Portland.
The party, which essentially ran Reardon’s canvassing operation, used a well-trained cadre of paid canvassers to blanket House District 48, which includes parts of Southeast Portland and Clackamas County.
Steve Hughes, the party’s executive director, said canvassers hit 14,000 doorsteps and actually talked to more than 5,000 voters in the district. The party also ran phone banks that made more than 9,000 calls, he said.
“Our folks got trained in holding an actual persuasive conversation with voters,” said Hughes, adding that canvassers would work every day on how to talk with voters before hitting the doorstep.
Rep. Mike Schaufler has been in office since 2002. The Oregon Working Families Party has suggested it might get involved in another legislative race or two before November.