Kevin Mannix to make second run for Oregon attorney general

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Posted by Advocate on November 19, 1999 at 07:29:12:

The Associated Press
11/18/99 6:42 PM Eastern

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- State Rep. Kevin Mannix announced Thursday he will run
again for Oregon attorney general -- this time as a Republican.

The Salem lawmaker ran for attorney general in the 1996 Democratic primary
but lost to Hardy Myers after Gov. John Kitzhaber took the unusual step of
injecting himself into the race and backing Myers.

Mannix, 49, switched parties after the snub by Kitzhaber, and now says he's
confident of winning next May's Republican primary.

Further, he predicted that his sponsorship of various get-tough-on-crime
measures over the years will win him bipartisan support in the 2000 general

"At this point, I've got an excellent shot at it," Mannix said.

Mannix has had some key accomplishments during his years in the Legislature,
including his sponsorship of Oregon's 1991 anti-stalking law and another one
that year to require drug dealers to forfeit ill-gotten gains.

He also has been the author of ballot measures that have reshaped Oregon's
penal system.

Mannix sponsored a measure that voters passed in 1994 that clamped a minimum
sentences on a wide variety of violent crimes. He also sponsored a
successful measure requiring virtually all prison inmates to work.

More recently, Mannix was sponsor of four crime-related initiatives that
voters passed in the Nov. 2 election.

Kitzhaber, in endorsing Myers over Mannix in the 1996 Democratic race, said
at the time he believes the Salem lawmaker's ballot measures often are
reactionary and don't consider big costs they impose on the state.

Mannix said Thursday that while he and Kitzhaber philosophically disagree on
issues, he and the governor shouldn't be viewed as enemies. He said that, as
chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he helped Kitzhaber get his bills
through the 1999 legislative session siting a state's new women's prison
near Wilsonville and beefing up juvenile crime prevention programs.

Mannix did take aim at Myers, however, saying that the Democratic attorney
general hasn't been a strong enough advocate for making Oregon's schools and
neighborhoods safer.

Myers announced recently he will seek reelection.

Specifically, Mannix said Myers was "missing in action" during the past
legislative session's deliberations of a bill that would have expanded
background check requirements on gun sales.

The bill passed the House but fell one vote short of passage in the Senate.

"Had he committed himself to the process, would we have had a better
result?" Mannix said of Myers. "We will never know."

Myers, for his part, said Thursday that while it isn't his style to spend a
lot of time personally lobbying lawmakers, the state Department of Justice
that he heads was an active player in the Legislature, pushing more than 50

"I'm looking forward to running on my record in all the different mission
areas of the department," he said.

Asked to comment about Mannix in general, Myers replied, "We'll have plenty
of time to talk about that as the campaign goes on."

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