Rep. Wu’s Seat Up for Grabs

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber will set the date for a special election to replace Rep. David Wu, who resigned Tuesday after he was accused of unwanted sexual advances with an 18-year-old girl. If the date is less than 80 days after Wu’s resignation, then party officials will nominate new candidates, but if it is more than 80 days, there will be a public primary to determine the candidates. If a primary occurs, there are already two clear Democratic frontrunners: Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and State Sen. Suzanne Bonamici. Avakian had already been planning to mount a primary challenge to Wu; Bonamici has not officially declared yet. One lobbyist predicted, “It will be a highly competitive race.” It is also possible that Republicans will compete, but it is unlikely, as both George W. Bush and John McCain suffered heavy losses in Wu’s district.