Blumenauer declines to run for Senate

Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners Overnight Energy: Critics worry Trump ignoring plight of honeybees | EPA employee protests union contract while receiving award from Wheeler | Green groups team up to host presidential climate summit MORE (D-Ore.) has decided not to run for Senate in 2008, forgoing a bid against Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.).

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“At this unique moment in history, there is too much work to be done in the House of Representatives to take on a campaign for the U.S. Senate,” Blumenauer wrote on his website. “The winning candidate should devote 100 percent effort for the next 18 months to overcome the onslaught that will come from the incumbent, Karl Rove and the Bush White House, and the many special interests who want to keep Smith in office.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), and state Treasurer Randall Edwards (D) have also turned down bids in a state national Democrats are emphasizing this cycle. It’s not clear which potential candidates will be the focus of their efforts next.