Democrat Backing Smith Switches Her Allegiance

Posted September 13, 2007 at 12:54pm

State Rep. Deborah Boone (D) has withdrawn her endorsement of Sen. Gordon Smith’s (R) re-election, switching instead to her colleague and fellow Democrat, state House Speaker Jeff Merkley.

Boone had been one among a list of Democrats who were supporting Smith’s quest for a third term. The 22 Democrats still publicly on Smith’s include former Rep. Elizabeth Furse, Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake and Tillamook County Commissioner Tim Josi.

In her statement announcing her change of heart, which was posted on Merkley’s Senate campaign Web site, Boone lauded her colleague’s leadership in the Legislature, but did not criticize Smith.

Smith closed the second quarter with $3.5 million on hand. And he may have caught a break this week when John Frohnmayer, the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, announced that he would run for the Senate as an Independent.

— David M. Drucker