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Filing Day Marks Unofficial Kick-Off To Oregon Campaign Season

 A state elections worker puts another name up on the board in the Oregon House showing candidates who have filed to run in the May 2014 primary.
Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network
A state elections worker puts another name up on the board in the Oregon House showing candidates who have filed to run in the May 2014 primary.

Oregon candidates are off to the races. The campaign season unofficially got underway Tuesday with the deadline to file to run in the May primary.

The marquee primary match-up is among Republicans vying for the chance to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. The top GOP contenders are Portland pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby and central Oregon state representative Jason Conger.

The two are already waging an intense campaign over which candidate is better suited to take on the well-financed incumbent.

In the Oregon legislature, Democrats want to extend their advantage in both chambers. But Republicans like Deputy House GOP leader John Davis say they're poised to pick up more seats of their own.

"We've got some fantastic candidates," he says. "I feel like they're really engaged in the community. They're trained well. They're ready to run hard and it's going to be a great campaign season."

In the governor's race, Republican state representative Dennis Richardson has the inside track to win the May GOP primary. He wants to take on Democratic incumbent John Kitzhaber in the fall.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.