'Operation Chaos' in Oregon's 4th Congressional District

A regional "Operation Chaos" may be brewing in Oregon's 4th Congressional District.  On Tuesday and in time for the filing deadline, Matthew Robinson, son of Oregon's 4th District Republican Congressional candidate and physicist Art Robinson, announced he filed his candidacy declaration with state election officials and plans to run as a Democrat in the 4th District's May 22nd primary against 13-term incumbent Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

DeFazio, a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has run virtually unopposed in the primary and general election since his election to the House in 1986.  From 1988 to 2008, he received at least 61% of the votes cast during each general election. In 2010, in one of the most contentious Congressional elections in recent memory, DeFazio beat his closest challenger to date Republican Art Robinson, by a margin of 55%-44%. Robinson is running unopposed in this year's Republican primary.

According to KVAL News, a local CBS affiliate, the 24 year old Robinson, a nuclear engineering graduate student at Oregon State University, changed political parties last August in anticipation of running against DeFazio this spring.  Robinson stated:

"I decided that DeFazio needed some competition in the primary, so I decided to run against him."

His reason is also in part personal: He accuses DeFazio of making false statements about his father during the 2010 campaign.

"He called our family farm a survivalist compound on national TV, and it's a sheep farm."

Oregon's 4th District is very politically diverse; comprising of several conservative rural communities and the liberal enclaves of the college towns Corvallis and Eugene.  While the younger Robinson's chances are slim to none to defeat DeFazio, I am delighted to see the father-son tag team as it will require DeFazio to expend at least some campaign funds he would normally save for the general election and it will further advance the elder Robinson's message calling for a more responsible and limited government.

As a constituent whose Congressional district has been held hostage by DeFazio's ideology for years, I am seriously considering switching parties just so I can vote for the younger Robinson.  The liberals will win most of the local and statewide elections in November and Romney will win the Oregon presidential primary.   Republicans and right leaning independents who reside in the 4th District's liberal epicenters really have nothing to lose by switching parties for May's primary election.  Oregon voters have until April 24th to change their party affiliation.

Let Operation Chaos 2012 begin!

Debra Mullins is Quality Management consultant and a 5th generation Oregonian who resides in Oregon's southern Willamette Valley.