Currently Brad Witt is a member of the Oregon House, representing HD 31 -- which consists of most of Columbia County and parts of Washington and Multnomah counties.
But recently Witt formed a campaign committee to be elected in HD 19 -- which is in Salem.
So how is it that Witt appears ready to challenge two Salem city councilors, Tom Andersen and Jackie Leung, in the May HD 19 Democratic primary? Currently he isn't shown as having filed for this race, but as noted above, his current campaign committee is for election to HD 19 rather than HD 31.
Well, I've heard that fellow Democrats in the state legislature redistricted Clatskanie out of HD 31 so Witt couldn't run again in his old district. The map below shows that now Clatskanie (near the top) is just outside of the HD 31 boundary.
This could have happened because in June 2021 Witt was found to have violated a legislative sexual harassment rule, according to an OPB story.
State Rep. Brad Witt violated workplace rules against sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment with a series of texts to a fellow lawmaker in April, a House committee found Tuesday evening.
But the House Conduct Committee found that, contrary to an allegation against him, Witt did not intend to create a quid pro quo arrangement with Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson in which he would exchange his vote on a bill for a date or sexual favors.
So it's possible that Democrats viewed Witt as sufficiently politically damaged by this episode to make it unlikely that he could win re-election against a Republican challenger, hence the boundary change that took his home out of HD 31.
Regardless, I've been told that Witt owns a residence in Salem which he hopes makes him eligible to run in HD 19.
I just think it's unlikely that Witt could waltz into Salem from Clatskanie and defeat two Salem city councilors in the May primary who have vastly more local name recognition. However, Witt might be betting that in a three-way race with Andersen and Leung, he has a chance to win as an outsider.
Which his opponents probably would term "carpetbagger."
I'll end by saying that when I told my wife what I was writing about tonight, Laurel said she had positive experiences with Witt when she advocated ending coyote killing contests during a recent legislative session, something Witt supported.
Brad Witt probably holds policy positions that are close to those held by Tom Andersen and Jackie Leung. Unfortunately for Witt, they have to be viewed as front-runners in the HD 19 race given their connections in Salem.