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Wayne Scott out

Wayne Scott

Wayne Scott

What a sea change in Oregon legislative leadership – Kate Brown, Jeff Merkley, now Wayne Scott, leader of the House Republicans. The legislature is going to be a different place.

Scott is a major figure – was more so in the last term (when he was not only House majority leader, but also co-chair of the budget committee) than this (when his tight caucus discipline still shaped a good deal of what the House did, and didn’t do). But still one of the key figures at the Statehouse.

Announcement of his departure – next month from leadership, but not till term’s end from the House – brings to immediate question the matter of who replaces him as caucus leader. We’re more intrigued, though, about what happens to his house seat. Scott is a formidable enough figure to remain strong for re-election, but the district has become marginal enough to allow for a closely-contested fight in 2008. (Democrats last year offered a young but energetic scrapper, Mike Caudle, against Scott; will he be back?) With control of the chamber hanging on a single seat (and this district is more marginal than either Brown’s or Merkley’s), this is another place to pay attention.

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