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Oregon: AFSCME Backs Merkley as Newcomer Joins Race

State Speaker Jeff Merkley (D), gunning for Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in 2008, has picked up the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75, a union of 22,000 government employees in the Beaver State.

Merkley is favored to defeat attorney and party activist Steve Novick in the Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, an unknown Eugene real estate broker entered the Democratic primary last week, The Associated Press reported. Candy Neville, a political long shot, said she is “one of 303 million citizens in the United States, and we can still” run for office.

“If you have courage and $150, you can file. A lot of people are qualified, and I am one of them,” she said.

— David M. Drucker

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