Oregon is a completely vote-by-mail state, and a spokeswoman for the secretary of state estimated the cost would be $400,000 if the parties select their nominees and $800,000 if a primary is held. If Wu resigns next week, the 80-day mark would land in mid-October, and there are coinciding elections in November, the spokeswoman said.
Two Democrats, state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and state Rep. Brad Witt, are already in the race for the 1st district, and Democrats said state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D) is strongly considering a bid.
EMILY's List, a national political action committee that backs female candidates who support abortion rights, has backed Bonamici in the past, and she could be able to tap into the organization's national fundraising network.
Karen Packer, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Washington County, the largest in the district, said she expects the governor will schedule it so that a primary can be held and that more than three Democrats will likely run.
"I mean, it's an open seat now," she said. "It's very attractive. Our point of view is no matter who the nominee is, we're going to work very hard to keep this seat blue."
Avakian, who raised $195,000 in the second quarter, said at a press conference Tuesday in Oregon that he wants the governor to schedule the special election for as soon as possible.
Republicans in the district will be targeting the seat, but Democrats in Washington, D.C., remain confident they'll hold it. The district, which runs from Portland west to the Pacific Ocean, has been represented by only Democrats since 1974.
Pelosi said Wu's decision "is a recognition of his need to focus on his children and their future."
Similarly, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said Wu "did the right thing" by announcing he would step down.
"I think David has some deep personal problems that make it clear that he needs to focus on himself and getting his life straightened out, and the distraction of serving in Congress, I think, would make that tough," the Florida lawmaker said.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.