OR-01: Brad Avakian Will Primary David Wu

It seemed more a question of when, rather than if, one of the deep bench of Democrats in OR-01 would step forward to launch a primary against the badly damaged David Wu. The answer is: today… and the “who” may be the one of the most high-profile elected officials from the district, state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian is expected at 10 a.m. Monday to step into the Democratic primary against Wu in Oregon’s 1st Congressional District.  Wu issued his own press release early Monday morning announcing he would later this month hold his first open town hall meetings since he ran into a buzzsaw of controversy regarding his personal problems.

Avakian’s new website can be seen here. The battle-within-the-battle at this stage in the game will be for fundraising; for Avakian, the challenge will be to consolidate enough early support that he’s the only top-tier challenger, as a split non-Wu vote would probably let Wu slip through the primary (a la the many escapes of Indiana’s Dan Burton). For Wu, it’s retaining the sense of continued viability; to that end, he just announced a pretty viable $219K raised for the first quarter. While contributions from K Street and other Beltway pros seem to have dwindled, he’s still getting continued strong support from Asian-American donors.

21 thoughts on “OR-01: Brad Avakian Will Primary David Wu”

  1. Let’s hope that he scares the other also-rans out of the race. I’ve said it before, but the last thing we need is for Wu to become the Democratic Dan Burton.

    My only concern about Avakian is that he might be a bit TOO liberal for a district that was moderate Republican up until about 15-20 years ago. As much as he sucks as a person, Wu has been a fairly good fit for the district ideologically. If Avakian goes for too much of the Steve Novick persona, it’s not going to go over well.

  2. This district is likely to give Obama around 60% of the vote if Oregon’s general trends of recent years continue, I’d say we don’t have to worry about Avakian. Especially if the new OR-01 takes in a chunk of West Portland to make OR-05 safer, as I’ve seen in several maps.  

  3. Brad Avakian is a solid candidate, probably the best candidate available for Democrats and could be the only one to clear the field against Wu. He lives right in the heart of the district and was a State Senator there for six years. I have a hard time seeing a Bonamici (his Senate successor) or a Hass getting in against him.

  4.   When this story was first broken by the Oregonian, Wu had not yet accepted treatment. Untreated mental illness does not belong in Congress. Now that Wu has accepted treatment, that makes him more sane than most Republicans. I don’t blame Avakian for smelling blood in the water, but I also don’t think having a mental illness should preclude one from serving in Congress.

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