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Wu's passion, drive for region should earn him re-election to Congress

U.S. Rep. David Wu has a wonkish reputation for reveling in policy details.

But ask him about the nation's economy and Wu speaks passionately about the decline of the middle class. Ask him about higher education, and Wu presses home one of his biggest issues: making a college education more affordable. Push him to talk about the war in Iraq and Wu worries aloud that the nation has chosen a dangerous global path that will impact future American generations.

We urge voters in Oregon's 1st Congressional District to re-elect Wu to a fifth term in the Nov. 7 general election.

In his eight years in Congress, Wu has proven to be an independent voice that tackles all kinds of issues. He pushed for funding to help Tigard's HemCon Inc. develop a new battlefield bandage for the U.S. military. He worked to obtain federal dollars to help the regional health care information technology industry expand its reach to improve patient care across the nation. He has fought the Bush administration on salmon recovery issues, often losing to what he calls 'twisted science.'

Wu's Republican opponent, 33-year-old state Rep. Derrick Kitts, of Hillsboro, is politically savvy, but we find him too strident for the moderate 1st Congressional District. We think that his working class roots are a very attractive part of Kitts' campaign, but he seems to be spinning his political wheels against a better-funded and more well traveled incumbent.

Kitts spends too much time trying to make an issue of Wu's refusal to debate him. And he mistakenly professes that Wu hasn't spent much time in the district during the past few years - a very wrong assumption.

Kitts is well versed on state efforts to improve political campaign reporting, but, when confronted about not publicly disclosing that he took a trip he took to Maui funded by Oregon's beverage distributors lobby group, Kitts rationalized away the implications.

Wu deserves re-election. He has an improved sense of confidence and has a better footing in Congress. If the Democrats take control of the House, he thinks he may be in line for chairmanship of one or two subcommittees dealing with education and science.

We still want to work to improve his focus on deliverable results for Oregon and his district. This is an area in which we believe he has taken many steps to improve. We also want to see his passion for Oregon students and improved regional economy be put to work even more productively.

We urge voters to re-elect David Wu to Congress in the Nov. 7 general election.