To the Editor:
To win, it would seem, there’s at least one hurdle each that the two major-party candidates for Oregon governor must surmount. That’s if a Democrat will succeed to an unprecedented third term or a Republican without any public office-holding experience will grasp the gubernatorial brass ring. Incidentally, a third term governor has never happened in state history, while election to the office by someone without experience requires a trip back in time to the 1930s.
In the case of John Kitzhaber, he left the position after two terms in a huff, grumbling angrily that the state was “ungovernable.” His arguably greatest challenge now is to plainly answer these questions: What’s changed, Dr. Kitzhaber? How so?
The guy without office-holding experience, Chris Dudley, has so far mainly shown his ego for office. As an opener, it’s reported, he’s not even practiced his citizenship by voting in public elections. Meanwhile, he’s light as a feather on specifics about where he stands on critical issues of the day. In fact, when asked, he’s only been able to say that, if elected, he will consider this or that major matter.
He has made it clear, however, that he supports the private sector in most any and every venture each player there may seek. So, the key question for Mr. Dudley is this: Are you going to work on behalf of all Oregonians or just some of the already-wealthy ones who’ve bankrolled your campaign and might just be, with you in the capitol, looking for special favors?
Unless a third party candidate succeeds to the office, how these two candidates get at these matters will determine the election’s outcome. Everything else just may be “frosting.”
Gene H. McIntyre