Or Oregon Legislative Assembly, if you prefer, in the second of four lists for the end of the year, of what now look like some of the most noteworthy and watchable political contests to come: Three lists covering the legislatures of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, then one covering major offices for the three states, with 10 races each. The numbering logic in similar for all: These are the contests which, from this viewpoint, seem to have the most significance or analytical interest as we look to where Northwest politics goes from here. It isn't a list of which seats will change parties (though we think there's a good shot some of them will) or which incumbents are most endangered (among other things, some of these are open seats). Rather: Which contests stand to say the most about local and Northwest politics?
There's little chance, to be sure, that Republicans will be able to retake the Senate in 08, and odds are less than even (though closer than remote) for a recapture of the House. But the House margins are still close, and every one of those 60 contests will have some significance. And, as is often so, some of these races tell us something apart from what the partisan balance will be: They tell us something about how people see their community and their state.
One other highly cautionary note: Candidate filing is open until March 11. Surprises in personnel doubtless will continue to unfold. (Consider, for example, the recent presumed legislature departure of Brian Boquist from the House, except that he then opted into a race for the Senate, for a seat he likely will win.)
(The list is below the fold.) (more…)