House District 24, which covers parts of Polk and Yamhill Counties, is shaping up as a key battleground
in this fall's general election. Republicans, who hope to erode or eliminate Democrats' 36-24 majority in the House, are rallying behind one-term incumbent Jim Weidner
(R-McMinnville), who had a rocky
first term. A couple of weeks ago, the Oregon Beverage PAC
donated $10,000 to Weidner. That is by far the largest donation he has received.
Today, the Stand for Children
PAC reported matching that contribution with a $10,000 check to Weidner's Democratic opponent, retired winemaker Susan Sokol Blosser
. That's more than twice the size of Sokol Blosser's largest contribution and the largest contribution Stand for Children has made to a legislative candidate.
Stand for Children has been a strong advocate for K-12 funding, but also for better performance from schools, which makes the group independent of the powerful Oregon Education Association — always a leading source of campaign cash for Democrats. Stand for Children was one of the few groups who applauded Gov. Ted Kulongoski
's recent City Club speech
, in which he called for a dramatically revamped approach to state spending, including greater accountability for how education dollars are spent.
"It was a little stunning to hear the truth spoken so frankly by Gov. Kulongoski," Stand's Oregon executive director, Sue Levin,
said in a statement. "It's time to improve education in Oregon, and we think Gov. Kulongoski's ideas are compelling and worth exploring."