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October 12, 2008

One Tough Endorsement

It's Endorsement Sunday, and candidates everywhere are either bragging about getting their local paper's nod or explaining why the paper just offered more proof that it's a (liberal/conservative) rag.

Some endorsements cite the difficulty of choosing between two qualified candidates. Others are downright harsh. Oregon Republican Mike Erickson found himself in the latter category when he opened this morning's version of his state's largest paper.

Calling a vote for Erickson "a serious mistake," The Oregonian instead endorsed Democratic State Senator Kurt Schrader in the race to replace retiring Rep. Darlene Hooley. "Unlike Schrader, he has no experience in public office, shows a weak grasp of the issues and comes with a boatload of troubling questions about his integrity," the paper wrote today.

The Oregonian, which features a usually reliably liberal editorial page, endorsed the state's three incumbent Democrats and lone Republican Greg Walden for re-election. But the harshness of its language against Erickson is notable.

Update: We should have mentioned this before, but The Oregonian has yet to make an endorsement in the state's contested U.S. Senate contest. Both Republican Gordon Smith and Democrat Jeff Merkley made their cases to voters in op-eds that ran Saturday.