Do you know who you’ll vote for this May 20th?
After plenty of preamble (and fundraising), it’s fair to say that Oregon’s election season really begins tomorrow. Anyone — and that includes you! — who wants his or her name on the May 20th ballot has until 5 pm on Tuesday to file a Declaration of Candidacy.
Often the May Primary suffers from low voter turnout and even lower media interest. But this year is destined to be quite different, thanks in large part to the ongoing Democratic presidential nomination fight between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Oregon will matter nationally in May for the first time in a long time, and it stands to reason that some of the national ferment will lead to more local and state-wide interest.
If this is the case — if the presidential race motivates more voters than usual to send in their May ballots — it?s likely that a number of registered independents will pick a party in order to have a say in the primary. What impact will this energized electorate have on the other primary races?
And as for those races, are you paying attention to who has thrown a hat into which ring? The contest between Democrats Steve Novick and Jeff Merkley for Gordon Smith?s Senate Seat gets a lot of press, but they’re not alone. And what?s happening with Darlene Hooley?s Congressional Seat in the 5th District? Who will voters get to choose from there? And then there’s the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and some exciting mayoral races.
What excites you about these primaries? Are you an independent who will affiliate with a party to vote in May? Are you watching the race for Attorney General? Or is it the idea of a new mayor for Eugene that?s getting you pumped up? Why are you going to vote — and who are you going to vote for — this May?
- Jeff Mapes: Political reporter for The Oregonian and blogger at Mapes on Politics
- Jack Roberts: Executive Director of Lane Metro Partnership
- Marc Siegel: Spokesman for the Democratic Party of Oregon
- Paul Gronke: Professor of Political Science at Lewis and Clark College