BEND, OR -- There are 34 U.S. Senate seats up for grabs, this year; ten are currently held by Democrats, including Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. Four Republicans each hope to take on Wyden in November.
One candidate for the GOP nomination, Bend businessman Sam Carpenter
, says the race has garnered national attention because of the possibility that a senior Democrat could lose his seat. He tells KBND News, "When the Democrats were in charge, he was Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee; this will be a big deal. A lot of the, OK, pundits, a lot of the establishment thinks it’s a lock for Ron Wyden, and actually, it’s not."
Carpenter adds, "This isn’t a long-shot or a lightning strike; there’s so much in favor of him being retired. And, that’s not just braggadocio on my part, that’s a fact if you look at the numbers and you look at what’s going on in this cycle, and the things that have changed, exemplified by Donald Trump’s success."
Wyden spent 15 years in the U.S. House before he was elected to the Senate in 1996. "There’s a lot of people that want to see people change," says Carpenter. "They don’t want to talk about it anymore; which is what the establishment on both sides of the aisle does, they talk, talk, talk. Hey, let’s get the job done."
Carpenter faces Portland IT specialist Mark Callahan, Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart and Portland Finance Consultant Dan Laschober in the Republican Primary. But, he says he's optimistic of his chances.
To hear our full conversation with Sam Carpenter, click HERE or visit our Podcast page.