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Campaign field widens in sprint for November election to replace Wu

It's getting crowded.

Thirteen candidates - eight Democrats and five Republicans - have lined up for the sprint leading to the 1st Congressional District's special election.

Major party candidates had until 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15 to file for the Nov. 8 primary election. Minor party candidates have until Dec. 1 to file for the Jan. 31 special election.

The wide field of candidates are campaigning to replace former U.S. Rep. David Wu, who resigned in disgrace Aug. 3 after seven terms in office. Wu was the focus of recent allegations that he had unwanted sexual contact with the 18-year-old daughter of a California friend and campaign donor three weeks after he was reelected last November. He has reportedly denied breaking any laws and said the still-undisclosed incident was consensual.

The district has been represented by a Democrat since 1975.

The special election cycle, both primary and general, could cost the state's general fund as much as $1 million.

On the Democrats' side, candidates include state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian of Beaverton, state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton, state Rep. Brad Witt of Clatskanie, Saba Ahmed of Beaverton, Dominic Hammon of Brookings, Robert E. Lettin of Sherwood, Dan Strite of Warrenton and Todd Lee Ritter, of Tigard.

Ahmed is a lobbyist who has worked for Intel Corp. and the Oregon Supreme Court. Hammon works for Redwood Coast Employment Services (Oregon law does not require candidates to live in the district to run; Brookings is in the 4th Congressional District). Lettin is an investment adviser and former press secretary to Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder. Strite is a pro golfer and retired business owner. Ritter is a textbook dealer.

On the Republican side, former unsuccessful GOP nominees in the district Jim Greenfield (2002) and Rob Cornilles (2010) are running for the position. Greenfield, a Tigard resident, manages commercial and residential real estate investments and is a longtime radio talk host. Tualatin resident Cornilles is president of Game Face Inc., a sports marketing company.

Other Republicans in the race are Pavel Goberman of Beaverton, a perennial candidate who operates a fitness company; Lisa Michaels of Beaverton, an independent television media consultant; and Delinda R. Morgan of Gaston, who works for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701.

A version of this story first appeared online Aug. 15.