Monday is the filing deadline for candidates seeking the Republican and Democratic nominations for Oregon's 1st Congressional District. A formidable field is shaping up.
A few last-minute candidates have added spice to an otherwise quiet time on the election calendar. Six Democrats and three Republicans have filed to run.
The clock for the special election has been ticking since the stroke of midnight on August 3rd, when David Wu's resignation became official.
The statute governing mid-year vacancies in Oregon's Congressional offices is clear - but somewhat complicated.
Since Wu resigned more than sixty days before November's general election date, Governor Kitzhaber was tasked with calling for a special election.
Secretary of State Kate Brown is the state's election supervisor. She worked with the Governor to plan the special election calendar.
"He made a decision of January 31st of 2012," Brown said.
Oregon law allows for a more accelerated schedule. But if the Governor had opted for it, parties would have had to select their nominees through internal elections. Brown says that wasn't the best option.
"I felt very strongly, as did the Governor, that it was really important for the electorate to have the opportunity for a primary election. Whoever gets elected in this district is very likely to be the Congressperson for a decade or two decades."
Brown says that had they decided to skip a primary vote, some voters wouldnt have had a voice in the process.
Some critics have raised questions about how the election calendar might color the final results. For example, a legislative committee recently redrew the lines of the 1st District.
Brown says those new boundaries won't take effect until after the special election in January. Should the election calendar have been interpreted so that the new boundaries would apply?
Shawn Lindsay is a Republican State Representative who lives in the 1st District. He also worked on the redistricting committee.
"I'm a little concerned that the Governor pushed out the special election clear out until January 31st, 2012. I think it would have been a lot better to have the special general election before the end of 2011. It creates a little more gray area and uncertainty, and a lot more interpretation to be made by the Secretary of State, Lindsay said.
Secretary Brown says it made sense to stick to the old boundaries, so that people who voted for David Wu could also vote to replace him.
So here's how the field looks so far: Republican Jim Greenfield, who competed in the 1st District in 2002 announced he'll challenge Rob Cornilles. Pavel Goberman is also returning to the GOP field.
John Kuzmanich, a Republican who's head of the Oregon Tea Party, said as of late last week that he was still thinking about whether to run.
The Democratic primary has filled out with Suzanne Bonamici, Dominic Hammon, Robert Lettin, and Dan Strite joining Labor Commission Brad Avakian and State Representative Brad Witt, who both jumped in several months ago.
Candidates can still file by the end of day Monday.
Read more on news.opb.org.