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Election | local | Politics

GOP Chair Alley Says Party Must Attract Independents

Oregon GOP Chair Allen Alley says his party must try to appeal beyond party lines.

Former Oregon GOP Chair Allen Alley plans to run for governor in 2016, sources tell OPB.

Former Oregon GOP Chair Allen Alley plans to run for governor in 2016, sources tell OPB.

April Baer/OPB

Republicans won some victories in local races in Tuesday’s voting, but failed to capture a statewide office or flip a Congressional seat.

Oregon Republicans have not held statewide office since 2002. The state’s last Republican U. S. Senator was defeated in 2008.

Speaking Friday before the City Club of Portland, Alley noted Democrats make up the biggest political affiliation recognized by the state.  The second largest group is people who are not registered to vote. Republicans are the third largest.

Alley says the fastest-growing group is voters who register neither as Democrats nor Republicans.

“Republicans structurally have to appeal to Republicans, Independents, and Democrats, in order to win. I think it’s candidate-based. It’s running incredibly good candidates, and Knute Buehler is an example of that. It’s how we’re going to win, and it’s how we’re going to increase registration,” Alley said.

Beuhler was the Republican nominee for Secretary of State. He lost to incumbent Democrat Kate Brown by 8 percent.

The party experienced one bright spot in Clackamas County, where the conservative offshoot Oregon Transformation Project shifted the balance of the County Commission by winning two seats held by Democrats.

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