Oregon: Frohnmayer Dropping Independent Senate Bid

Posted June 10, 2008 at 6:31pm

John Frohnmayer, the former National Endowment of the Arts administrator, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he is abandoning his Independent Senate bid.

Frohnmayer said he has had difficulty raising money and attracting support.

Frohnmayer’s decision probably comes as good news to state Speaker Jeff Merkley (D), who is challenging two-term Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in November.

Although Frohnmayer served at the NEA under former President George H.W. Bush, he had been campaigning as a political moderate and a vocal critic of the Iraq War. He has high name identification in the Beaver State, in part because of his own work and the fact that his brother is University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer.

Smith is a top Democratic target this cycle.

— Josh Kurtz