SALEM — Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has drawn a Republican challenger in her bid for reelection.
Daniel Zene Crowe, a public defender in Multnomah County, filed for the office Monday, a day before the deadline for the May 17 primary. Crowe’s filing came the same day a more well known Republican — Rep. John Davis of Wilsonville — announced he would not join the race.
He is the lone Republican in the race.
Crowe, a political newcomer, said he falls outside the mainstream Republican ideology, though he declined to identify which of his beliefs diverge. He said he wants to restore the rule of law to the Attorney General’s Office.
The Mt. Angel resident said he wants to unseat Rosenblum because of her choices during her first term. He criticized her for being slow to investigate allegations that Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancé, Cylvia Hayes, used their public offices for profit and for her response to information at least one employee was conducting surveillance on social media accounts using the Black Lives Matter hashtag.
“What horrifies me about the Black Lives Matter surveillance is, just like Gov. Kitzhaber, there were no consequence to the malefactor (nobody got fired) because General Rosenblum had surrendered her moral authority to call someone else out on their poor judgment,” Crowe said. He said a series of choices and positions she has taken “made it clear she is more interested in currying political favor than she is about speaking to the concerns and issues of all Oregonians.”
Rosenblum declined an interview Tuesday with the EO Media and Pamplin Media Capital Bureau to respond to Crowe’s criticism and to discuss her campaign .
Crowe had a 20-year career in the U.S. Army before returning to Oregon to practice as an attorney. He works for Metro Public Defender Inc. and also is active in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program for homeless veterans. He is the chairman-elect of the Military and Veterans Law Section of the Oregon State Bar and executive director of the nonprofit, Oregon Veterans Legal Services.
While serving in the U.S. Army, Crowe graduated with his law degree from the University of Washington and joined the Oregon State Bar in 2005. He later received a master’s degree in business administration from the European School of Management and Technology, while he and his family were stationed in Germany.
Rosenblum, who has no primary challenger, was elected as attorney general in 2012. In addition to the Kitzhaber and the Black Lives Matter scandals, she grabbed headlines for refusing to defend the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2014, drawing praise from gay-rights advocates.
She has served as a judge for the Oregon Court of Appeals, Multnomah County District and Circuit courts and assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon.
She graduated with a law degree from the University of Oregon.