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Blumenauer Won’t Run for Senate

In another blow to Democrats’ hopes of ousting Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) next year, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) announced this morning that he will not be a candidate for Senate.

Blumenauer’s announcement comes on the heels of Rep. Peter DeFazio’s (D-Ore.) decision to stay put, and serves as another boost for Smith, who is one of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s top targets this cycle.

“This was not an easy decision. There is no question that Gordon Smith is vulnerable to defeat,” Blumenauer said in a lengthy statement on his Web site. But “at this unique moment in history there is too much work to be done in the House of Representatives to take on a campaign for the U.S. Senate.”

In the statement, Blumenauer cites several reasons for his decision not to challenge Smith, but chief among them appears to be the Democrats’ newfound majority in the House and his desire not to give up a safe seat for the unknown.

Currently, the only announced Democratic Senate candidate in Oregon is lawyer and party activist Steve Novick. Smith finished the first quarter of this year with a healthy $2.8 million in cash on hand.

— David M. Drucker

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