Could it be that former State Senator Neil Bryant just might run for the GOP nomination in the Attorney General Race? Local blogger Jack Bogdanski thinks so, and as a law professor, he’s more plugged-in to judicial politics than your average insider. He’s a credible moderate who currently is senior partner at a real estate/land use law firm in Bend.
Also, one should recall Tony Green’s blogwire post about the AG race:
Shawn Cleave, spokesman for the Oregon Republican Party, said there were two GOP attorneys with past governmental experience considering getting into the race, but would not name them.
That seems to fit Bryant pretty well. From his biography at Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis:
Neil has an extensive background in the field of law and was elected to the State Senate in 1992. In 1995, Neil received the Outstanding Freshman Legislator award and was awarded the 1998 Outstanding Legislator Award by the National Republican Legislators Association. He served two terms in the Senate and chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee for six years.
But there’s a glaring problem with a Bryant nomination for the GOP. His most recent brush with publicity came during a review of his application for an appointment to the Oregon Health and Science University Board that revealed Bryant’s distaste and off-color humor for affirmative action. Apparently, under the disability section of the application, Bryant listed ‘white/male’. After public consternation at his stunt, Bryant promptly withdrew his nomination.
The Oregonian editorial board had this to say:
There’s no defense for former state Sen. Neil Bryant’s attempt at humor on a state affirmative-action form. Responding to a question asking if he had a disability, he wrote “white/male.”
Some no doubt think that’s funny, but it’s not. It’s offensive to a great many people, and Bryant ended up apologizing for it, as he should have.
That should have been the end of the matter.
Inexplicably, it wasn’t. The faux pas cost Bryant an appointment to the board of Oregon Health & Science University. He had to withdraw his nomination after being taken to the woodshed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
So, two good things for Democrats if Bryant is the GOP nominee:
1. He has already had to back away from state office because of his political clumsiness.
2. The Oregonian appears to think that he’s unlucky.
Still, while I believe that either John Kroger or Greg Macpherson would clean Bryant’s clock in the general election, I think Bryant is probably the best choice for the GOP this May should he decide to run.