Dec 22 2005
You would think that if Oregon 1st District Representative David Wu were terribly vulnerable, he would have been done in last year – faced with an energetic and well-funded Republican opponent and an eruptive sex scandal from his past that led the Oregonian to propose his ouster.
Instead, his 57.6% win, larger than almost anyone expected, showed the difficulty in taking out Wu (or most incumbents, for that matter) even when a perfect storm seemed to develop.
So it’ll be a curiosity if rumors floating around the Republican Northwest blogosphere pan out, and Representative Derrick Kitts, Republican of Hillsboro, announces next month to take him on. No, we have no specific indication one way or the other; but the rumor mills has, for now, an air of credibility.
Some of the commentary within Republican circles seems to question how solidly conservative Kitts is. Our observation suggests that shouldn’t be much of an issue; Kitts has presented himself as solidly conservative up to now. And he has a leadership spot (whip) in his caucus; you don’t get there by mavericking. The poster suggesting his candidacy argues, “He is going to be a target by the left, yet I think he can pull it off with some work. He is young, energetic and is a good fit for his district.”
It is true that Kitts’ home turf, Washington County, is the heart of the 1st district. But it has been trending Democratic, and even in a relatively Republican part of it, Kitts in 2004 pulled just 54.5% of the vote with only a modest challenge – less well than a scandal-plagued Wu facing a strong opponent. And Kitts has gotten some bad press of late. He’s not a favorite of Lars Larson, and Willamette Week just named him Rogue ofthe Week for a variety of actions that suggest a certain tone-deafness to perceptions, at least, about conflicts of interest. Not the strongest hand to be playing against Wu under the circumstances.Share on Facebook