Oregon: Primaries in Hooley’s District Are Very Tight

Posted April 21, 2008 at 6:45pm

Both the Republican and Democratic primaries in the race to replace retiring Rep. Darlene Hooley (D) are close, according to a recent independent poll — though the GOP contest seems much more developed with voting set to begin in a matter of days.

Hooley’s Willamette Valley seat is a rare pickup opportunity for House Republicans this cycle, and both GOP candidates, businessman Mike Erickson, who was the 2006 nominee, and former state Republican Party Chairman Kevin Mannix, are personally wealthy.

According to an automated SurveyUSA poll conducted April 13-15 for KATU-TV in Portland, Erickson was the choice of 44 percent of likely Republican primary voters, and Mannix, a two-time candidate for governor, was preferred by 40 percent.

The poll of 396 likely GOP primary voters had a 5-point margin of error.

On the Democratic side, the two leading contenders were also within the error margin, and more than half of those polled were still undecided about the race. State Sen. Kurt Schrader was the choice of 23 percent of the 591 likely Democratic primary voters surveyed, and Steve Marks, the one-time chief of staff to former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), was preferred by 20 percent.

Oregon has all mail-in elections; the primary ballots are scheduled to be counted on May 20, but voting actually begins early in the month.

— Josh Kurtz