Oregon Democratic consultant to enter Senate race

Democratic consultant Steve Novick will announce his candidacy for the seat of Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) on Wednesday, Novick told The Hill Friday. 

Novick will make the announcement in the state capital, Salem, before heading to Portland and Eugene later in the day. 

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A former Justice Department lawyer who has worked on environmental issues, he once prepared to run for Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) House seat but has no other experience as a candidate.

Novick has said he would yield should any Democratic members of the state’s House delegation or Smith’s 2002 opponent, Bill Bradbury, decide to run. Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioPipeline regulators pressed to act on gas storage leaks Bill introduced to end the draft Watchdog finds inefficiencies in US airline oversight MORE (D-Ore.) said recently that he would reluctantly consider a bid, after initially ruling it out, and appears to be the top choice of national and state Democrats. 

DeFazio said he would decide by next month. Blumenauer, who is also weighing a run, is deferring to DeFazio. 

A poll commissioned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last month showed DeFazio beating Smith 42-38 in a head-to-head matchup. 

“He’d be a fabulous, tremendous candidate - there’s no question about it,” Novick said. “But we clearly can’t count on him to run.”