We confess…the prospect of a 2010 Oregon gubernatorial race dominated by used-to-be pols and regular wannabes threatens to knock us into a never-ending nap.

So thank goodness we've been recently treated to several new names who have awoken us faster than news of a 6-year-old boy alone in a balloon.

The short version: Now in the Democratic primary along with ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber and ex-Secretary of State Bill Bradbury is Democrat Steve Shields. Third-party contender Jerry Wilson is in the race. And Chris Dudley is mulling whether to join Allen Alley and former state Rep. John Lim (R-Gresham) in the GOP primary.

That's a lot of new names to keep track of. So based on interviews with Wilson and Shields and—since Dudley declined our interview request—our sports fan's knowledge of Dudley, here's a longer version to flesh out who these three rookies are.