The Associated Press via Oregon Public Broadcasting finally discloses what most already thought true:
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers says he won’t run in 2008 for a fourth term as the state’s top lawyer.
The 67-year-old Democrat cites his age as a key factor in his decision, noting that he would be into his 70s during a fourth term. He says the Oregon Department of Justice, which he oversees, deserves fresh leadership as well.
Myers’ announcement leaves a wide-open field in next year’s attorney general’s race.
Some of his harsher critics have dubbed him “Hardly Matters”, but I think they’re just tired of having the same top law man for 12 years. Recently, he’s made the news for suing Purdue Pharmaceuticals for the widespread advertising of the addictive pain drug Oxycontin.
In any case, Myers’ announcement is the final trigger that will probably catalyze the primary campaigns of two well-regarded Democratic lawyers.
Representative Greg Macpherson, Democrat of Lake Oswego, has made it no secret that he’s in if Myers is out. Macpherson accomplished much during this last legislative session as chair of the House Judiciary Committee and co-chair of the committee that sent the Measure 37 fix (Measure 49) to voters this November. Should Measure 49 pass, Macpherson will probably have a good part of the environmental community behind him.
Lewis and Clark professor John Kroger has also talked with interest about the Attorney General job. Kroger is the kind of candidate that excites the party base. Like Steve Novick, he’s taken on tough and mean corporations in the courtroom for the public and come away as the victor.
The Kroger resume? From BlueOregon again:
U.S. Marine Corps, Yale undergrad, Harvard Law School, Deputy Policy Director on Clinton’s ’92 campaign and senior policy analyst at the Treasury Department. Also he received the Director’s Award from AG Reno in ’99 for his mafia shut outs.
Tough to call at the outset. But for the history, Portland law firm Stoel Rives has helped its alumnus, Hardy Myers, retain the AG office for three terms. Macpherson, in addition to his legislature gig, works for Stoel Rives as an expert pension attorney. I’m not sure how the legal community flexes its political muscle, but it seems like they may already have a favored candidate.
As for electability? If Kevin Mannix is the best the GOP can do statewide these days, the race will be over after the Democratic primary.
UPDATE: Rep. Greg Macpherson announced today that he would seek election to the Attorney General post. Visit his website here. John Kroger is expected to announce his entry on next Thursday, August 30.