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Wu the best bet in 1st

David Wu has a wonkish reputation for reveling in policy details. But ask the Congressman 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.

In his eight years representing Oregon's 1st Congressional District, Wu has proven to be an independent voice that tackles all kinds of issues, from helping a local manufacturer get research funding to fighting the Bush administration on salmon recovery.

Wu's Republican opponent, 33-year-old state Rep. Derrick Kitts, of Hillsboro, is politically savvy, but ethically challenged and far too strident for the moderate voters in this district, which stretches from Portland to Astoria. Kitts is well-versed on state efforts to improve campaign reporting, but, disturbingly cavalier when explaining how he failed to publicly disclose a Hawaiian junket funded by Oregon's beverage distributors lobby group.

Kitts, who's struggled in Salem, has failed to show he has a firm grasp of the myriad federal issues that effect the state, spends too much time trying to make an issue of Wu's refusal to debate him, and mistakenly claims Wu hasn't spent much time in the district.

Wu deserves re-election. He has an improved sense of confidence and a better footing in Congress. We'd still like to see more tangible results for Oregon and this district, but we've seen steps to improve. We urge voters to re-elect David Wu to Congress.