Former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith Endorses Ron Wyden in Senate Race

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Former Republican U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith has endorsed his former political rival Sen. Ron Wyden over his Republican challenger Jo Rae Perkins.

In a letter to the Bend Bulletin, Smith wrote the following:

Ron Wyden and I served together in the United States Senate representing Oregon. And while we disagreed about plenty of issues, we’re both Oregonians proud of our state’s history where members of both parties have worked to reach honorable compromises motivated by what’s best for Oregon — and grounded in facts and shared values based in healthy debate.

When I read in a Bend Bulletin endorsement of Ron that his Republican opponent said “I don’t believe in compromise,” I’m forced to conclude that viewpoint represents an extremism unworthy of a Republican legacy in Oregon that includes Tom McCall and Mark Hatfield.

Even more concerning, I understand his opponent is a believer in QAnon, a bizarre and baseless conspiracy theory that depicts President Donald Trump as heroically fighting a secret battle against a sect of devil-worshiping pedophiles who dominate business, the media, and government. Oregon and the Nation deserve to hear and consider Republican policy prescriptions undiluted, and not discredited, by such collateral nonsense. The bearing of false witness is unworthy of Oregon’s public square!

While Ron and I may disagree about some things, we don’t disagree on this: Oregon deserves candidates dedicated to representing all Oregonians in finding paths toward solutions based on reality and good faith.

I’ve often heard Ron call that process of working together the “Oregon Way.” And on that process so essential to Oregon’s past, present and future, we’ll always agree.

Smith, a Pendleton native, served in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2009. Wyden, a Democrate, is running for a fifth term in the Senate.