Former Eugene Mayor Jim Torrey is running for the State Senate. He will run in District 7, the seat currently held by democrat Senator Vicki Walker. Walker is running for the democrat nomination against incumbent Governor Ted Kulongoski.
I have no idea if Walker will run for Senate re-election if her gubernatorial bid goes nowhere. But I think Torrey is a lock regardless. Torrey is incredibly well respected in the area and will make a fine State Senator. Don't be fooled by the Red Guard's statement about Walker already beating one former Mayor: Jim Torrey was probably the most popular Mayor Eugene has ever had; there is no comparison between Torrey and Jeff Miller.
If Walker bows out of the Senate race, there is no local democrat who can make a credible challenge against Torrey. Bob Ackerman, an extreme liberal, may be popular in his own House district, but Senate 7 includes many more-conservative neighborhoods. Ackerman will lack the broad appeal in the region enjoyed by Torrey.
But even if Walker decides to stay in her current office, Torrey will have an edge.
Walker will be battered by her challenge to Kulongoski. She will have that big "loser" stamp on her forehead. She is already doing poorly in her gubernatorial bid, with an incredibly incompetent performance on the Lars Larson show. I'm not being partisan, and neither was Lars. She was asked simple questions and gave meandering non-answers. She came off as a doddering fool. It all adds up to her retirement unless she gets out of the Governor's race NOW and puts forth a Herculean effort towards keeping her seat.
And in other potentially good news... I have heard from an anonymous source that long-time liberal U.S. Representative (and embarrassment to Oregon) Peter DeFazio is going to retire rather than seek re-election. If true, Jim Feldkamp may as well pick out a new suit for his swearing in. As long as he runs for re-election, DeFazio remains unbeatable. But with an open seat, Feldkamp, by virtue of his impressive challenge to DeFazio in 2004, has the advantage of organization and fund-raising against an unknown democrat challenger.
But like I said, this is only potentially good news. We'll see how that source pans out. I'm not going to hold my breath...