Looking For Oregon's GOP Delegation At The Convention? Skip Cleveland
If you’re looking for the Oregon delegation at the Republican National Convention, skip Cleveland.
Head south for about 30 miles until you get to the outskirts of Akron. There, you’ll find the Oregon delegates ensconced in a Doubletree Hotel far from the bustle of the convention.
This is not unusual for the state’s Republican delegates, who are used to being shunted far from the action. They were at airport hotels for the 2008 convention in St. Paul and in Clearwater Beach in 2012 for the Tampa gathering.
“I think that’s kind of shabby treatment, to be honest with you,” said David Jacques, an alternate delegate from Roseburg attending his fourth convention.
He said he suspects it’s because Oregon usually votes Democratic.
Solomon Yue, a longtime Republican national committeeman from Salem, said that’s exactly the case.
“We have to earn our place regarding hotel assignments,” said Yue, a member of the party’s powerful rules committee.
“Oregon does not have a Republican governor. Oregon does not have a Republican senator and Oregon has not delivered for a Republican president.”
That theory does have one flaw: Oregon’s Democratic delegates also often end up far from the host cities at their conventions.
At next week’s convention, they’ll be housed in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, some 20 miles from the convention in Philadelphia.
It may be that Oregon’s record of uncompetitive presidential elections – it hasn’t voted Republican since Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984 – discourages either party from trying to give Oregon special treatment.
Kevin Hoar, a party consultant and Republican delegate from Washington County, said one of the main problems with staying at a far-flung suburban hotel is that there often isn’t anywhere to get something to eat or drink when they return late at night from the convention.
But, he added, given the fears of violence outside the convention, “we may be happy about not staying in the middle of the city.”
Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting