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Teamwork

In eastern Idaho, the main headlines generated by the longshot Democratic candidates for the U.S. House came when they said they’d campaign together.

Craig Cooper of Pocatello and Jim Hansen of Boise are competing for the Democratic nomination for the 2nd district (one of them eventually to face incumbent Republican Mike Simpson). But it doesn’t look like a typical competition: They seem to be working together more than anything else. One joint press release explained, “For several months, Cooper and Hansen have been making joint appearances around Idaho. Although they are facing each other in the primary election, the candidates sometimes even car-pool to the events together, discussing the issues along the way.”

Well, if you want to demonstrate a new approach to politics, you can do worse than live it.

In Oregon, where voters are accustomed to the spectacle of thei split-party Senate delegation, Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Gordon Smith, touring the state together, such an approach might have special appeal.

The four Democrats in the Oregon 2nd District – now held, apparently securely, by Republican Greg Walden – have agreed to do something similar. They said they will travel together and work cooperatively even as they c ompete for the nomination, and said they will visit all of the counties in the district (20 counties in the district with the largest land mass of any in the Northwest).

Beating a presumably popular Republican in this territory is exceedingly tough. But they’re off to an intriguing campaign approach that should draw some attention – some of it, presumably, favorable in-district.

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