By editorial board • 

Parties best served with Rayfield, Latrhrop for AG

We found the calls remarkably easy to make, on both sides of the aisle, for nomination to the attorney general helm being ceded by three-term Democrat Ellen Rosenblum.

Our endorsements go to former House Speaker Dan Rayfield for the Democratic nomination and former Marion and Yamhill County Deputy District Attorney Will Lathrop for the Republican nomination. In our view, their respective opponents, Shaina Pomerantz and Michael Cross, lack the career chops to be serious contenders.

Rayfield, a product of Tigard High School, Western Oregon University and the Willamette University College of Law, began his legal career in 2006, handling civil litigation in Albany. He later joined the firm of Nelson & MacNeil, which became Nelson MacNeil Rayfield when he made partner in 2014.

His legal practice led him into politics. After losing narrowly in a 2010 Senate bid, he won election to a Corvallis House seat in 2014 with 72% of the vote.

He proceeded to win by like margins in a series of succeeding elections that eventually propelled him into the speakership. Two other prominent Democrats eyed the race, but ended up deferring to the 44-year-old Rayfield, considered a rising star in the party.

Pomerantz is a California native who spent the first 15 years of her career teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City. She later took up legislative staff work in Texas, Louisiana and Oregon.

Holder of degrees from the University of San Francisco, Mercy College and ultimately the Southern University Law Center in 2015, she is best known for pressing successful racial discrimination complaints against first, Concordia University, and later the state Bureau of Labor, where she spent eight months as a civil rights investigator.

She serves as executive director of Race Talks and describes herself as a racial justice warrior on her Linked-in profile.

Lathrop is a Wallowa County native who earned his undergraduate and law school degrees at Willamette University. After serving as a prosecuting attorney in Marion and Yamhill counties, he spent several years fighting land raiders in Uganda and human traffickers in Ghana with international human rights organizations.

He and his wife, former high school sweethearts, make their home in Newberg. He’s billing himself as a crusader against crime, corruption, addiction and homelessness.

He’s raised substantial funds and won a series of endorsements from prominent Republicans.

Cross is a California transplant who earned a community college degree while serving in the Air Force in the 1980s. He mounted an unsuccessful recall campaign against then-Gov. Kate Brown in acrimonious competition with an official but equally unsuccessful Republican Party recall campaign in 2019.

Cross ran unopposed for the Republican AG nomination in 2020, but lost badly to Rosenblum in the general election.

One handicap was having a criminal record that includes, among lesser convictions, a felony conviction for assault. Another was seeking to lead what amounts to the state’s largest and most distinguished law firm without holding even a four-year undergraduate degree, let alone a law degree.

Disenchanted with his party afterward, he filed for governor as a Democrat in 2022. However, he placed 12th in a field of 14, collecting only 1,342 of the almost 500,000 votes cast.

Endorsement Plan

Continuing a newspaper tradition dating back to our nation’s founding, we have embarked on a month-long series of endorsements designed to conclude Friday, May 3, in conjunction with the mailing of ballots for Oregon’s May 21 primary. The schedule is as follows, complete with decisions, insofar as they have been made:

April 12: Democratic nomination for attorney general (Dan Rayfield); Republican nomination for attorney general (Will Lathrop).

April 19: Democratic nomination for secretary of state; Republican nomination for secretary of state.

April 26: Democratic nomination for state treasurer. (Republican nomination is uncontested.)

May 3: Position 2 on the non-partisan Yamhill County Board of Commissioners.

Our aim is to provide readers with the facts we found relevant and the conclusions we drew from them, in hopes of helping to better inform their personal decisionmaking. We realize they might well use our facts and reasoning to reach other decisions, which is the way things are supposed to work in a healthy democracy.


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable