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A racier race for governor: Who should have run

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ben, Ben! It’s like watching the paint dry, now that you’ve dropped out of the race for governor. Once the independent candidate and (yeah, it’s true) media darling Ben Westlund backed out, we were left with candidates with the personality of … we’ll just leave it there. So who should have run for governor to spice things up in a race where squabbling over the kicker is the most juice being squeezed?

Gert Boyle
She’s shown that as leader of Columbia Sportswear she has the staying power to take a local brand and go global. Besides, who better to keep the Legislature in line than One Tough Mother?

Les Schwab
The tire mogul would have those sluggish state employees lookin’ sharp and running out into the Capitol parking lot to greet visitors.

Joan Brown-Kline
As the CEO of the Girl Scouts Columbia Rivers Council, this dynamic executive could draw on the considerable fundraising prowess of thousands of cookie-sellers to help balance the budget should Measures 41 and 48 pass.

Gary Fish
The founder and president of Deschutes Brewery can sell Oregon to Oregonians so well that they’d swallow his tax reform bill like a cold Mirror Pond Ale.

Ursula K. Le Guin
Some vignettes in Salem have reached the level of science fiction, so why not have one of the premier fantasy authors running state government? She can take her platforms from some of the titles of her books, like The Left Hand of Darkness and Forgiveness Day. Not to mention Wild Girls.

Gus Van Sant
The director of Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho, he specializes in artsy films of low-lifes, so would fit right in with the lobbyists, politicians and various hangers-on. Plus, he might get Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to the inaugural ball.

Lars Larson
This shock jock knows what’s best for Oregon and with a devoted following of listeners, he would be able to marshal the votes. Let’s get him on the ballot. Oops, never mind, he lives in Vancouver.

Judi Johansen
The former PacifiCorp CEO is smart, capable, well regarded and just so nice. She left the utility in March when Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway took over, so she’s probably got time on her hands.

David Chen
Why pretend? This venture capitalist is chair of the Oregon Innovation Council, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute, Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum and he’s on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Oregon Investment Fund. The smart, committed investor pretty much runs the state anyway.

Dick Wendt
Klamath Falls millionaire Wendt owns window and door maker Jeld-Wen, the largest private company in Oregon and has been a silent player in politics — via mega campaign contributions — for a long time. Might have to be a government by proxy, as Wendt rarely does public appearances.

Doc and Connie Hatfield
If the founders of Brothers-based Oregon Country Natural Beef were in charge, it would cure all that urban-Oregon-runs-the-state banter and end the knock that Oregon’s against traditional marriage. And who doesn’t love a ten-gallon hat in the Capitol?

The Rock
At this point, we need an action hero. Get this wrestler-turned-bad-actor an Oregon driver’s license.



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