October 27th, 2009 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Some Surprises in Oregon's U.S. Attorney Sweepstakes


Over the weekend, a 13-person selection committee interviewed candidates for two plum federal law enforcement posts in Oregon: U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal.

The U.S. Attorney's spot in particular is a high-profile position and highly desirable. Going into the weekend, many insiders speculated that Dwight Holton, an assistant U.S. Attorney was likely to be one of three finalists. The son of a former Virginia governor and the brother-in-law of current Virginia governor and Democratic National Committee boss Tim Kaine, Holton is connected, as well as being a well-regarded prosecutor.

But the list of three finalists released today by the offices of Oregon's two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, did not include Holton. The three finalists are Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, whose strong law-and-order stance sometimes draws fire from liberals and seemed to make him a long shot for the job; Amanda Marshall, a McMinnville resident who is the assistant attorney in charge of the Oregon Department of Justice's child advocacy section; and acting U.S. Attorney Kent Robinson, who has been a federal prosecutor for 29 years.

For the U.S. Marshal job, the finalists are Lane County Sheriff Russell Burger; James Ferraris, a Portland Police Bureau Commander; Gerald Gregg, a retired Oregon State Police Captain; and former Gresham Police Chief Carla Piluso.

Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan was chairman of the selection committee. Wyden and Merkley will now forward the finalists chosen by the committee to the White House.
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