It may be that no one in Oregon's campaigns in this next cycle gets a bigger national drawn than Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Bradbury has: former Vice President Al Gore. Gore will be doing a fundraiser for Bradbury in Portland on November 19.
There's some background involved these two, of course. Bradbury was, as his web sites notes, "one of the first 50 participants in Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Change training sessions and has given more than 200 Climate Change in Oregon presentations." That's been no secret; Bradbury has been big on the issue for some time, back to during his years as secretary of state. So a visit from Gore (and who knows, maybe another next year too) makes sense on that basis.
There is also more to it than that. Former Representative Les Aucoin writes on Blue Oregon about what he calls an "intriguing subplot" involving former Governor John Kitzhaber, the front-running Democratic candidate for governor:
"Gore’s move is the continuation of a decades long feud with Oregon ex-governor Kitzhaber, Bradbury’s leading primary opponent, dating back to Gore’s bitter battle against Kitz’ innovative Oregon Health Plan when Gore was a U.S. Senate. John K. won that fight, but he never forgot his nemesis from Tennessee; when Gore ran as the presumptive favorite for president in 2000, Kitz backed Bill Bradley early and conspicuously. Twisting the knife, the Guv criticized the Clinton Administration — and implicitly Gore, the “green” VP — for inept handling of the NW salmon crisis. I'm not saying it was Kitz's sole rationale, but it was one."
But that view has also been challenged, on Blue Oregon and elsewhere.
Has the look and feel of a real primary contest, doesn't it?