Oregon: Not Your Traditional Swing State

At the federal level, many Republicans view Oregon—with two Democratic Senators and four out of five Democratic U.S. Representatives—a far-left leaning liberal bastion with anachronistic fiscal and social policies. At the state level, though, the Beaver State is a swing state with elections that could go either way.

Yes, the Democrats hold roughly a 10 percentage-point advantage over Republicans in voter registrations, but with more than a quarter of the electorate registered as unaffiliated or with third-parties, the Democratic advantage is far from locked in.   No, the Republicans are not going to magically flip the Congressional delegation this year, but they do have a shot at breaking the Democrats’ current stranglehold in Salem. A few key victories could curtail the Dem’s redistricting advantage and lay the groundwork for future GOP success in the Beaver State.

In the race for governor, Republican nominee and former NBA player Chris Dudley currently leads his Democratic opponent. Republicans can take control of the 30-member Oregon State Senate if they are able to net four seats in the midterm elections. Even if they don’t win the upper chamber, getting closer to parity with the Democrats in the senate would give the Republicans a strong negotiating position with a friendly Governor.

In the 60-member Oregon House of Representatives, a GOP takeover is seven seats away.  Because Democrats currently have a super-majority, with slightly more than three-fifths of the seats on their side of the aisle, they don’t even need the Republicans to show up to pass bills at will.  Republicans are well positioned to not only end the Democrat super-majority, but also to retake the majority that Oregon Democrats captured during the 2006 mid-term elections.

The Oregon GOP is targeting 29th House District – a district comprised of Hillsboro, Cornelius and Forest Grove in western part of the state – as one of the first steps to breaking the 4 years of Democrat dominance.

Republican nominee, Katie Eyre Brewer, is a 20-year Hillsboro resident and CPA with extensive leadership roles in her community, having served as chair of the Hillsboro Board of Directors and as Vice President of the Hillsboro Planning Commission. Brewer has been involved with her community for many years and can make a credible claim to understand the real needs of her neighbors and her district.

Like many smart candidates this year, Brewer focused on jobs and the economy as the first priority when announcing her candidacy: “As an accountant, I understand how decisions made in Salem can affect Oregon’s businesses and workers. Oregon lost over 148,000 jobs over the past year, yet the Legislature increased spending, approved job-killing tax increases and passed measures that are hurting our struggling employers and their employees. I’m running because Oregonians need new leaders and new perspectives in Salem.”

Brewer’s challenger—Democratic nominee Katie Riley —should sound familiar to Oregon voters as she is married to outgoing incumbent Representative Chuck Riley who is currently seeking a seat in the Oregon Senate. While Katie Riley’s name ID might have been an attractive to voters when she entered the race, voter discontent might prove it to be an albatross come November.

In a year when voters seem receptive to the message of righting the balance of government power and clipping the wings of incumbents, Brewer has a double-barreled message against her opponent, painting Riley as a political insider tied to the incumbent team and providing voters the opportunity to provide more conservative voices within the Beaver State’s House of Representatives and usher in commonsense conservative policies of lower taxes and smaller government.

For more information on Republican Katie Eyre Brewer’s bid in Oregon visit: http://www.voteeyrebrewer.com/

Read more from Ben Cannatti and Ford O’Connell at Townhall.com

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