Voters in the May 18 primary should select incumbent Democrat David Wu and political newcomer Rob Cornilles to meet in the November general election to represent Oregon's 1st Congressional District.

Since he was first elected in 1998, Wu has built a respectable and growing record of constituent service in the 1st District. In Washington, D.C., he continues to represent Oregon and its interests very well.

Wu's challenger in the Democratic primary is David Robinson, a U.S. Navy veteran with a degree in systems engineering. Like many first-time candidates, Robinson has a hard time setting himself apart from incumbent Wu.

On the Republican side, Cornilles, a Tualatin businessman, has the polished look of a politician even in his first race for public office. Chalk it up to his day job. As founder of Game Face, a sports marketing firm, Cornilles has spent years cultivating a network of executive clients and contacts. He has proven himself to be a quick study on national politics.

While his opponents, John Kuzmanich, Stephan Brodhead and Doug Keller, would like to see the federal Department of Education eliminated, Cornilles sees promise in the middle-ground approach the Obama administration is taking to reform public schools.

Some conservatives might bristle at a Republican talking nice about a Democrat, but the reality is that any GOP candidate who wants to topple Wu in the general election will need to win over a lot Democrats.

In the May primary for the 1st Congressional District, Democrats should retain David Wu and Republicans should advance Rob Cornilles to run in the November general election.

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