From Jeff Mapes at Oregon Live:
Former state Rep. Jim Thompson, who lost his seat in the Republican primary last year, said Friday he wants to run again for the legislature under the banner of the Independent Party of Oregon.
Thompson, a Dallas resident who served three terms before he was defeated by Mike Nearman, switched to the Independent Party before a key deadline on Thursday.
The Independent Party has become the third major party in Oregon, meaning that it will have a state-paid primary next year. But state law also requires that candidates for major-party nominations be registered within that party by Sept. 10.
Thompson said Friday that he still has “to do some exploratory work on whether anybody is funding independent campaigns” before deciding for sure whether to run.
Thompson lost his seat last year, at least in part after he came out in favor of gay marriage. The Oregon Family Council and Oregon Right to Life provided most of the funding for Nearman’s primary race in House District 23. Nearman went on to win the district, which has long been held by Republicans, in the fall.
“I’m so disgruntled with the Republican Party,” said Thompson, arguing that it has become too negative. He also said he thought the Legislature had turned into a “partisan catfight between the extremes of the two parties, and this doesn’t serve Oregon.”