Former state Representative Derrick Kitts of Hillsboro, who in 2006 lost an unspectacular race for Congress against Rep. David Wu, is considering a run for Mayor. This after he nixed his initial inkling to move to Wilsonville and run for the seat held by retiring Rep. Jerry Krummel (R).
Kitts, whose 2006 campaign relied heavily on the presence of RVs and American flags and the absence of just about everything else, says he’d be a good fit as Hillsboro’s Mayor because he’s “Joe Average”. Even more interestingly, Kitts thinks he ran a pretty good race in 2006, despite doing virtually no actual campaigning and eventually losing by 30 points.
But then again, this is the same Derrick Kitts who twice won a state legislative race in Greater Hillsboro’s House District 30. Though that district does contain a big chunk of territory outside of Hillsboro city limits, it’s probably fair to say that Kitts represented at least half of Hillsboro’s population in the Oregon House. Unless you consider the quality of Kitts’ legislative service, that’s a political advantage.
But the Boundary is not so sure that high-tech Hillsboro is the right place for a ‘Joe Average’ campaign anymore. No, this city, home to Intel, TriQuint Semiconductor, Lattice, FEI and many other successful corporations needs a business-savvy leader to champion economic development. This can’t be done by just any normal guy off the streets, or someone who pretends to be one.
But if he wants to provide his name as an alternative to the already-declared candidacy of Jerry Willey for the sake of competition, who’s to stop him? No one cried when he left Salem to be the name opposite Wu on the ballot for Congress–in fact, that move helped deliver House Democrats the majority for 2007. And look at all the good things that happened there.
Perhaps only good can come out of Kitts’ ambition, though not in the ways he would intend.