Clackamas County Chairwoman Lynn Peterson announced last week she would not run in the 2010 Democratic primary for governor.
"I can't run all out for governor while running the county all out," she said in a story published Sept. 25 on wweek.com.
Just eight days earlier, however, Peterson seemed quite happy running all out for governor. She was mailing handwritten notes to potential donors and, in a mere three weeks, hoped to raise $150,000. "I believe that I have the experience in leadership and new energy to move Oregon forward," Peterson wrote in one such letter to a contributor. "It is not acceptable to look backward for answers when our communities are struggling."
The Rogue Desk happens to agree with Peterson that Oregon should not be looking backward. We were actually intrigued by the prospect of a Democratic primary that wasn't limited to candidates we thought were in our rearview mirror—like former Gov. John Kitzhaber and ex-Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.
And unlike this year's earlier tease of a run by state Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem), the idea of Peterson for governor actually seemed plausible.
Yet Peterson proved just as Roguish as too many other timid pols afraid to take on big names like Kitzhaber. This self-satisfied state needs new leadership to solve its long unemployment lines and shortened school years.
Yet after tantalizing Oregonians by amassing an impressive campaign team, raising money and launching an effort to conduct polling, Peterson said no thanks.
The 40-year-old former transportation engineer didn't respond to a new request for comment by press time. But last week she said on wweek.com, "It is clear the people of this state crave a contested governor's race."
She's right. Too bad she doesn't listen to herself.