Candidates Off and Running to Replace Oregon Congressman Wu

The process to replace former Oregon Congressman David Wu will begin with the November 8, 2011 election, Governor John Kitzhaber has confirmed. The November primary election will coincide with an already scheduled election for other offices, thus saving taxpayers money in the fall. However, a general election for the seat is scheduled for January 31, 2012.

Wu’s resignation became effective at 11:59 Tuesday night. He stepped down in the midst of mounting pressure from his own Democratic Party leaders, after allegations surfaced he forced a sexual encounter on the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor. The allegations followed several staff resignations late last year after allegations of other unprofessional behavior emerged.

For political parties, candidates and campaign staffs, the race to replace Wu promises to be exhausting. After the November primary and the January special election, the regular primary and general election cycles still loom later in 2012.

The field for the 1st Congressional District is filling fast. Published reports indicate two candidates are expected to announce today: Republican Rob Cornilles, who faced off with Wu in the 2010 election, and Democratic state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton. Already off and running are Democrats Brad Avakian and state Rep. Brad Witt.

Wu has not granted media interviews or made public appearances since announcing his resignation. He did issue a statement.

“Serving as a U.S. Congressman has been the greatest honor of my life. There is no other job where to get up each day and ask, ‘How can I try to make the world a better place today?’” He added that the time to hand on the privilege of elected office had come.

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) is monitoring the Congressional race to determine which candidates will advocate for the credit union movement.

“Open Congressional seat races provide the opportunity for the NWCUA and the industry to actively engage our ‘Plan to Win’—the strategy to not only elect credit union friendly candidates, but credit union advocates that will take leading action on legislation that positively impacts the operating environment for credit unions and the members they serve,” said NWCUA President Troy Stang.

Posted in Events, Federal, NWCUA.