The Oregon Republican Party is backing two write-in candidates for statewide office this year, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. This is due to a quirk in the law that might allow the Democratic candidates in those races to secure the Republican nominations and effectively avoid facing any opposition in November.
One of the candidates is Tom Cox, was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for Governor in 2002. In that race Cox polled 57,760 votes, or about 5%, and posted the Libertarian Party’s second-best showing in a gubernatorial race that year. He trailed only Wisconsin’s Ed Thompson.
More on the Oregon write-in race…
A postcard sent out to registered Republicans endorses Portland lawyer James Buchal for Attorney General, and Thomas Cox for State Treasurer. Cox is a former Libertarian Party candidate for Governor. He also runs a consulting firm based out of Beaverton.
Republicans failed to put forward a candidate this year for either race. So ordinarily the party would pick a candidate after the primary.
But Cox says if the Democrat, in this case incumbent Ted Wheeler, were able to convince just enough friendly Republicans to write his name in on the ballot, the race would be over before it even began.
“That’s why the Republican Party of Oregon decided to do write-ins around specific candidates from the Republican Party”, Cox says.
He says a Democrat winning the Republican nomination wouldn’t be unprecedented. John Kroger pulled it off four years in his race for Attorney General.
Cox and Buchal will need to get a majority of write-in votes to appear on the ballot in November.