Merkley Steals a March on Novick

The two leading candidates for the Oregon Democratic Senate nomination, Jeff Merkley and Steve Novick, are trying to outdo each other in demonstrating their opposition

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The two leading candidates for the Oregon Democratic Senate nomination, Jeff Merkley and Steve Novick, are trying to outdo each other in demonstrating their opposition to the Iraq war.


On Saturday - the fifth anniversary of the US invasion - Merkley plans to lead a march in Portland calling for an end to the war. "Five years ago this month, George Bush invaded Iraq," Merkley said in a press release. "It's been an unmitigated disaster. I am the only candidate for the U.S. Senate in Oregon who spoke out against the war from the beginning. And I'll promise you this: I'll go to work on the first day to bring our troops home immediately."

If you plan to be in Portland Saturday and want to take part in the march, you can sign up here.

Although as far as The EYE knows he isn't planning to lead any marches this weekend, Novick also has been a vocal critic of the war and pledges that "if the U.S. still has military forces in Iraq when I take office in 2009, I will begin work immediately on withdrawing our troops within six months."

Democrats have accused Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of waffling on the war for criticizing it but refusing to support setting a timetable for US withdrawal.

Meanwhile, Merkley stole another march on Novick this week by snagging the endorsement of the big (more than 52,000 members) and politically active Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Oregon. The SEIU endorsement took some of the sting out of Merkley's loss of the Oregon Education Association's endorsement to Novick.

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