tags: Targeted Races

Hooley (Open-OR-5)

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RESULT: Kurt Schrader (D) 56% – Mike Erickson (R) 37%

In the 2006 election, Democrat Darlene Hooley defeated shipping entrepreneur Mike Erickson with 54% of the vote. Erickson spent over $1.6 million, most of which was his personal money. Rep. Hooley decided to retire in 2008, leaving the 5th District seat open. The region is historically Republican but has tended to vote Democratic in recent years. Bush won in this district by less than 5,000 votes in 2000 and 2004, making it both a Democratic and Republican target for 2008 [National Journal, 3/21/08]. This year Kurt Schrader, who is a veterinarian, farmer and state senator from Canby, will go up against Erickson to compete for the seat. [National Journal House Race Hotline, 5/14/08; Statesman Journal, 9/13/08]

Immigration became an issue in the campaign this fall when “Democrat Kurt Schrader accused Republican Mike Erickson of shifting positions since the May 20 primary, when Erickson sported a tougher stance…‘One of my opponents changed his position that he was going to send everybody (without documents) back,’ Schrader said. ‘That is not going to work. The people are already here. If we send people back that means 70,000 jobs in Oregon go away.’” [The Statesman Journal, 9/23/08]

The Erickson Position:

Mike Erickson

ENFORCEMENT ONLY. According to his campaign web site, Erickson’s immigration plan would emphasize border security and establish English as the official language of the United States. As reported in The Oregonian, “Erickson said his top priority is securing the nation’s borders ‘so we can stop illegal immigration and protect against terrorism.’” He “advocates enhanced border patrols and high-tech monitoring. Employers who knowingly use undocumented workers should face serious penalties, he said, and people in the United States illegally should be forced to leave the country and follow the rules if they want to re-enter.” In a TV ad during the primary, Erickson advocated for a crackdown on immigration, stating that the United States should return all the people who are in the country illegally, requiring them “to pay some fines and go back to Mexico and get in line and apply to get back here legally.” [AP, 4/27/08] At a recent candidate forum Erickson said, “We need a work force here…But let them come here legally, tell them to apply and do it the right way.” [The Statesman Journal, 9/23/08]

The Schrader Position:

Kurt Schrader

COMPREHENSIVE REFORMER. The AP reported that Schrader “supports providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers who acknowledge they have broken the law and pay fines and back taxes.” [AP, 9/23/08] When Schrader was asked at a candidate forum what Congress should do about illegal immigration, “Schrader said the nation needs a more comprehensive approach that includes changes in the guest-worker program that ensure foreign workers won’t take jobs from Americans and provides a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.” [The Oregonian, 9/23/08] While in the Oregon State Senate, Schrader supported toughening citizenship requirements for driver’s license applicants; however, he vocally opposed the REAL ID Act. [The Oregonian, 5/16/07]

Oregon 5th