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May-18-2007 11:33TweetFollow @OregonNews
Alan Bates May Take Gordon Smith on for 2008 SenateSalem-News.com
Bates, 62, who served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967, said recently that the war in Iraq is "unwinnable," as was the Vietnam War.
(SALEM, Ore.) - State Sen. Alan Bates says he is "seriously considering" running against U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith in 2008.
Speaking to his hometown paper, Bates, a physician and Democrat, said that health care is the “biggest crisis” facing the nation.
"In the last eight years, with Republicans in control of the House and Senate and the presidency, nothing happened on health-care reform," Bates told The Ashland Daily Tidings.
Bates said he would challenge Smith's positions on the Iraq war, saying that in "a huge error in judgment" Smith voted to give President Bush authorization to use military force to depose Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"I know he's apparently changed his position on the war, but many of us from the very beginning were opposed to the war," Bates said. "When you're at that level you have a responsibility to know what you're doing; be very careful of your votes."
Bates, 62, who served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967, said recently that the war in Iraq is "unwinnable," as was the Vietnam War. He said U.S. troops remain in Iraq for "no discernible reason."
Bates said he's been considering a run against Smith for six months, but said he did not want to announce his interest prematurely, hoping that "somebody with a better chance and who was better known" would emerge.
"I would be a dark-horse candidate," he said, but I do bring some things to the table. I'm a rural Democrat, a 30-year family physician in Southern Oregon and I volunteered to go to Vietnam."
Bates said he will formally announce whether he will run a few weeks after the end of the legislative session.
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