Last week, WW reported
that Portland State University lobbyist Jesse Cornett was preparing to move in House District 48, which covers parts of Clackamas and East Multnomah Counties.
Cornett's plan was unusual because he would have been challenging an entrenched fellow Democrat—Rep. Mike Schaufler
(D-Happy Valley) who has served the district for four terms. Although Schaufler has at times angered enviros with his votes and has long been known as one of the most independent members of the House Democratic caucus, it is unusual for an incumbent to attract a serious challenge in the primary.
At recently as last Thursday evening, however, as the email below shows, Cornett was putting together a meeting with key potential supporters and campaign advisors:
On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 6:20 PM, Jesse Cornett wrote:
Thank you for support in my bid for HD 48. Despite yesterday's less than glamorous WW murmur and subsequent discouragement, my plans remain unchanged. I see a path to victory and would love to talk it through with all of you.
I would like to get started in earnest very soon and to that end would like to propose a time to get together with all of you to plan next steps. I really do think there are some key things in this race that could make a huge difference but going over these with folks in a group setting could be very helpful. Your advice on immediate next steps would be appreciated as well.
I'll propose 7 pm next Wednesday at a location TBD. Does that work for folks? I know that Nathaniel cannot be there (he's slaving away on a race in Delaware) but he can phone in. If anyone else cannot be here but could be on a call, let me know and I'll see about getting a conference line somewhere.
But after further consideration, Cornett abruptly changed course as the email below indicates:
Sent: Mon Sep 07 08:34:59 2009
Subject: Re: Meeting up
I am canceling this meeting. While you'll all probably be cc'ed on a more articulate email than this in a few days, I've decided not to run.
The truth is that I'd have to take an almost immediate 45% pay cut to run and walk away from the advocacy component of my job. That combined with being urged by many of my long standing political allies not to run, this feels like a fool's errand.
We are still moving to the district, by the way, which is in Mike's district but within blocks to Tomei, Barton and Cannon's districts. With redistricting scheduled for 2011, who knows what district I'll end up in and who knows who will move on over the next couple years. I expect I'll wait it out until the seat is open and then run.
I appreciate your support, it means a lot to me.