After several weeks of non-suspense, former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley dropped the other sneaker this morning and announced that he’s seeking the Republican nomination for governor.
Dudley made the announcement in an auditorium at Self Enhancement Inc., a charitable organization that works with low-income youths. According to The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes, he “pledged to slow the growth of the state budget and the high cost of the Public Employees Retirement System” – what Republican doesn’t? – and also opposes the tax measures on the January ballot.
After retiring from pro ball Dudley created the Chris Dudley Foundation to advocate for people with Type 1 (early onset) diabetes, which Dudley himself has had since age 16.
At this morning’s press conference Dudley tried to make his lack of experience in public office out to be an advantage: “I believe it is a strength, not a weakness, that I have not spent the last 30 years in politics."
Dudley will have to get past three rivals – businessman Alvin Alley, former state legislator John Lim and anti-tax crusader and racketeer Bill Sizemore (no, that last name was not a joke) – for the privilege of taking on either former Gov. John Kitzhaber or former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury next November.
At 6-foot-11, Dudley – a center who played 16 seasons in the NBA including six with the Blazers – is by far the tallest candidate in the race. He also has raised more money ($373,000) than any of them.
If he’s willing to take a suggestion, he should invest some of that money in a good acting coach. To date he’s released four videos (you can see them on YouTube) that rank high among the most boring and soporific ever produced. They consist of a talking head – Dudley’s – making platitudinous statements in a dull, expressionless monotone. Watch a couple before bed and you won’t need sleeping pills.