The Republican primary in the Oregon gubernatorial has been a curious contest: Its participants don't include anyone who really looks likely to win. Someone will, of course. But none of the contenders look like a logical prospect: Someone well-organized, well-funded, experienced in Oregon politics and representative of the party's base.
For a good deal of this year a lot of the discussion seems to have centered around former NBA Trail Blazer Chris Dudley, more recently an Oregon businessman. He has raised substantial money, and he has a public profile (albeit not one, until recently, in politics).
But over this month attitudes seem to be adjusting. His performance at the Dorchester conference early in the month was not strong, and he came in second to businessman Allen Alley, who ran for treasurer two years ago and was a staffer for Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski before that. (There are other candidates too, but Dudley and Alley currently look like the major players.)
This post from Coyote at Northwest Republican is worth a good look as the race reaches the two-month mark. He cites a number of problems facing Dudley, and notes this:
"I am hearing from folks who have seen him in meetings, debates and endorsement interviews that he just does not seem to have a grasp of the issues. Speaking in platitudes seems to be his motus operendi and that just will not cut it in the general election where he will not be able to 'run out the clock' with money."
Not quite an Alley endorsement, either. But then quite a few Oregon Republicans may feel less than thrilled with their options.