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Congressional Hopefuls Wait for Beaver State Dam to Break

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Merkley, 57, is seeking re-election this year in a race that is not expected to be very competitive.

In an open-seat race, Republicans say state Reps. Julie Parrish and John Davis would give Schrader’s seat a look. The Democratic bench includes Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader (the congressman’s ex-wife), former Clackamas County Commissioner Ann Lininger, radio host Paul Evans and state Rep. Brent Barton.

Compared to Schrader’s 5th District, DeFazio’s seat is less competitive for Republicans. DeFazio racked up a 20-point margin in 2012, but the president won the seat by only 7 points.

If DeFazio retires, Republicans say state Rep. Bruce Hanna and Lane County Commissioners Faye Stewart and Sid Leiken could run. But Democrats also boast a strong bench that includes Gelser, state Rep. Val Hoyle and state Sen. Floyd Prozanski.

If Bonamici runs for higher office or leaves her safe Democratic seat, Beaver State Democrats point to state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, state Reps. Tobias Read and Ben Unger, and state Sen. Mark Hass as potential successors.

As for Blumenauer’s Portland-based district, Democrats would form a long line to run if the nine-term congressman retires.

“Everybody in Portland” would launch a campaign, suggested a state Democratic operative. “It would be a pretty bloody fight for the seat.”

Democrats named Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Novick, state Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Kotek and Portland Commissioner Nick Fish as possible contenders.

Republicans will similarly line up to run for the state’s lone safe Republican seat — the 2nd District — if Walden retires. There would be a “free for all,” according to that national Republican operative.

Republicans name state Rep. Mike McLane, Buehler, state Sen. Tim Knopp and state Rep. Jason Conger as possible contenders.

Farm Team is a weekly state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress.

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