Count on Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney for some pungent commentary, as in his look ahead to a session of the Senate in which a whole lot of the members are or are considering running for another office. One-sixth of the chamber is formally so planning now, but it's likely to go much higher - maybe to about a third of the 30 total - over the next year.
Courtney: “I’m going to file the state Senate for any and all state offices, just to get this taken care of.”
As with many Courtney comments (we spotted this one on the Eugene Register-Guard's political blog), he was only half jesting.
Let's see. There's one running for state treasurer, Democrat Ben Westlund. There are four senators running for secretary of state (Kate Brown, Vicki Walker, and recently Rick Metsger and Brad Avakian), all Democrats; Republican Bruce Starr is said to be likely to join them before long. Then there are the potential governors in the group, including Republican Jason Atkinson (who has all but announced for the 2010 election) and (we're told not to be surprised if we see it) Democrat Kurt Schrader. Remember too, that Alan Bates (D-Ashland) gave serious thought to a U.S. Senate run this year, and new Senator Larry George (R-Sherwood) also gets mentions as a higher office prospect.
Which in all may create some tensions come the February session. But they might bear in mind too that all will look better if they play nice.