When reporters have asked Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Dudley
about making the transition to politics from the National Basketball Association, he's often mentioned other pro-hoopsters-turned-politicians such as Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
and former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley
Bradley is perhaps the better analogue. Dudley and Bradley both played their college ball in the minors—the Ivy League: Bradley took Princeton to the Final Four before going on to win pro championships with the New York Knicks, Dudley played for Yale before his 16-year career in the NBA.
But despite the parallels between their careers, Bradley
is backing Kitzhaber, a fellow Democrat, in the governor's race. Kitzhaber reported getting a $1,000 check yesterday from Bradley
, who served three terms representing New Jersey in the Senate and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000.
Bradley is a nice name to have on Kitzhaber's list of supporters. But the former two-term governor would probably rather have Oregon's two sporting goods titans, Nike chairman Phil Knight
and Columbia Sportswear's Tim Boyle.
Both men have supported Democratic gubernatorial candidates in recent cycles but this year have collectively given Dudley more than $250,000.
A final note as the campaign enters the last week before ballots are due in the Nov. 2 election: Dudley is finally returning to the metro Portland area, after spending the past week campaigning in sparsely populated Eastern Oregon and on the coast.
Today, Dudley will make appearances in Tualatin and Hillsboro. Those two cities are less scenic than the spots he's visited recently but are far more likely to play a key role in deciding next Tuesday's result.