Featured Stories



Unfortunately our website is having issues today. We are working diligently to resolve this problem. Please come back later.


Many state Republicans wary of Trump

GOP leaders unable to unite behind presidential hopeful

On Aug. 20, Donald Trump announced he was canceling his planned Aug. 31 rally in Portland.

His Oregon campaign director explained that Trump’s decision to tour flooded areas of Louisiana forced him to change his schedule — but added that he hopes to bring the candidate to Oregon before the election.

Based on a survey by Pamplin Media Group reporters, it’s not clear who would join Trump on stage at such an event. Most Republican party leaders and candidates would rather talk about Hillary Clinton than their nominee — or, better yet, change the subject.

Only a third of the 30-plus Republicans our reporters talked to are publicly supporting Trump at this point. Most declined to say who they are supporting or reported that they still are undecided. A half-dozen said they will definitely be voting for someone else.

Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix, a Salem lawyer, stressed the importance of filling judicial vacancies in explaining his position on the race.

“I am supporting Donald Trump for president because he will appoint justices to the Supreme Court, and the other federal benches, who will not engage in progressive judicial activism,” Mannix said. “He respects both the First and Second Amendments and will not undermine them; and he is pro-life.”

Bud Pierce, the current Republican candidate for governor, is less enthusiastic about his party's candidate at the top of the ticket:

“I am deeply concerned by the behavior of the Republican nominee,” Pierce said. “And while I am supporting him because I cannot trust Hillary Clinton, it is becoming harder and harder every day to maintain that support.”

That sentiment is echoed by the other four candidates for statewide office.

Daniel Zene Crowe, the Republican running for attorney general, submitted a response that was so nuanced that it seemed he was not supporting Trump. When the story was first posted online Friday, he sent a clarification, saying he is supporting Trump in his role as a statewide Republican candidate, but might not vote for him.

Jeff Gudman, running for state treasurer, also gave mixed signals, saying he’s undecided about who he’ll support for president and is considering Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. But Gudman would consider accepting Trump’s endorsement of his candidacy if it was offered.

Dennis Richardson, the GOP’s candidate for secretary of state, played it safe, saying that since the job he’s seeking oversees elections, he is not offering his support to any candidates this year.

And Mark Callahan, running for U.S. Senate, is also declining to make an endorsement.

Republicans not on the ballot were less circumspect with their views on the Trump candidacy.

Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis won’t say who he’s supporting for president, but it’s sure not his party’s candidate. Bemis said Trump “is attempting to win the election by dividing people with hateful rhetoric and scaring people into submission through a distorted, extremely negative world view.

“I would harshly punish my children if they remarked on women, immigrants, and people of non-Christian faith like Trump does,” he said.

Bemis urges the Republican National Committee to shift its money to other down-ballot races besides the nation’s highest office. “Spending money on Donald Trump,” he said, “is like buying coffin nails by the crate.”

Kerry Tymchuck, a former top aide to U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith and a longtime party activist, said he switched his registration to nonaffiliated and will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

“As long as Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, then I cannot in good conscience be a member of that party,” said Tymchuck, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society.

“Working for Elizabeth Dole and Bob Dole for eight years and Gordon Smith for 12 years provided me with a bird’s-eye view of government at its highest level and the personal attributes of effective leaders,” he said. “It has long been clear to me that Donald Trump lacks any of those attributes.”

Below is a sample of what we heard from some of the other Oregon Republicans who answered our survey. The full survey, which will updated as more responses come in, can be found at www.pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/319439-199015-spending-money-on-donald-trump-is-like-buying-coffin-nails-by-the-crate.

• Ted Ferrioli, Oregon Senate Republican leader, wouldn’t say who he’s supporting.

• Mike McLane, Oregon House Republican leader, said he is still undecided in the race.

• Gordon Smith, former U.S. senator, now CEO of National Association of Broadcasters, is not saying who he’s supporting.

• Jack Roberts, former state labor commissioner and ex-director of the Oregon State Lottery, said he’s undecided but he won’t support Trump. “I don't believe Trump has the knowledge, temperament or experience to be president. I also strongly disagree with his views on trade, immigration and foreign policy. I will probably write-in someone or perhaps vote Libertarian.”

• Andrew Miller, Stimson Lumber CEO and major GOP donor, said he’s not supporting either Trump or Clinton. “I have had no interest in Donald Trump,” he said. “I am not supporting him, nor will I.

“Neither candidate is offering a vision for the country and style of leadership that is the least bit appealing to me.”

• Larry Campbell, former Oregon House Speaker and retired political consultant/lobbyist, is for Trump.

“I'm disappointed that people running for office as Republicans are not supporting our candidate,” Campbell said. “I think Donald Trump will surround himself with a good group of people.

“And I'm scared to death of Hillary Clinton as president making appointments to the Supreme Court.

• Dan Lavey, staffer for former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, who now runs a Portland consulting firm, said he’s supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson for president.

“I'm not supporting Trump because he is both a lousy candidate and completely unsuited to be president and commander in chief. He's a narcissist and has zero principles or vision for the country — other than 'elect me.' He's a political clown.

“Hillary is awful and a phony. She has no principles other than 'elect me' and grow the government even bigger than it already is.”

• Lori Chavez-DeRemer, mayor of Happy Valley and candidate for House District 51, said Trump has not earned her endorsement.

• Bill Kennemer, state representative, District 39, declined to state who he’s supporting.

• Julie Parrish, state representative, District 37, declined to say who she’s supporting.

• Lou Ogden, mayor of Tualatin, said he’s undecided.

“I am not enamored with either of the two main party candidates,” he said.

• State Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas: “Trump is the nominee, thus voting for him,” said Boquist, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army special forces. “While I think President Bill Clinton was one of the top commanders in chief I served under, his wife is as close to being guilty of treason as anyone I’ve ever known. You can put her in the same boat with Petraeus.”

• Vic Gilliam, Oregon state representative, House District 18, from Silverton, is supporting Trump. “I don’t think our founding pioneers thought ’sitting-out’ an election, especially for president, was an option,” he said. “We all must vote.”

• Alan Olsen, state senator, District 20, said he “wholeheartedly” supports Trump.

“We cannot have Hillary Clinton as president. She will destroy America.”