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Treasurer Reiterates His Disinterest in Senate Bid

Democrats continue to get the cold shoulder in their search for a challenger to Sen. Gordon Smith (R), as one candidate high on their list reiterated his unwillingness to run and declined even to say he is giving it consideration.

In the wake of Rep. Peter DeFazio (D) saying Friday he has decided unambiguously against challenging Smith in 2008, one potential candidate valued by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — state Treasurer Randall Edwards (D) — repeated his refusal to run.

A spokesman for Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D), another potential candidate the DSCC is after, said the Congressman is entirely focused on his legislative duties and giving no thought to political matters.

Blumenauer campaign manager Willie Smith said the Congressman is concentrating on the Farm Bill and his new slot on the House Ways and Means Committee, adding: “He hasn’t been focused on politics, because for him the decision doesn’t have to be made right away.”

Ley Garnett, a spokesman for Edwards, said the treasurer’s decision not to run, in part because he has young children and the fact that his family loves living in Portland, has not changed.

“I can’t imagine anything that would change his stance,” Garnett wrote in an e-mail.

Democratic strategist Steve Novick announced his Senate candidacy last week. But he never has run for office and is not considered a top-tier challenger to Smith, who has done well in previous elections garnering the support of Democratic and independent voters.
— David M. Drucker

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