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Anti-Nuke Group, Mayor Back Merkley Senate Bid

State Assembly Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) has some work to do to catch up to Sen. Gordon Smith (R) on the fundraising front — but he does have some new endorsements to crow about.

The Council for a Livable World, which bills itself as a nonpartisan organization focused on reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation and international conflict, is backing the Democratic Senate candidate in his bid to oust Smith. Portland Mayor Tom Potter (D) also announced this week that he is endorsing Merkley.

“Jeff is the kind of Senator Oregon needs — one who is sincere in his opposition to the Iraq War and dedicated to finding a workable solution,” former Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.), a Council board member, said in a statement.

Merkley, who jumped into the Senate race midway through the third quarter, finished the period with just $211,000 in cash on hand, compared to $4 million for Smith.

— David M. Drucker