Focusing on voter frustration with jobs, foreclosures and bank reform, Ashland Democrat Joyce Segers says she hopes to pull off a miracle in a second run against popular six-term Republican Congressman Greg Walden.
Segers, 62, former owner of a medical-billing business, got 26 percent of the vote in her first-ever run for office in the 2nd Congressional District election in 2010.
"I feel I can win because the issues this time are more dire and I'm different this time — stronger," she says. "I've had time to reflect on what's happening and a deeper understanding of what's going on politically in the district.
"There's a lot of anger and mistrust of all politicians in the country, so the challenge will be to restore faith and at the very least to let people know someone's paying attention to what's going on."
Segers says she plans to raise campaign funds from grassroots sources and will accept corporate money only if it passes the test of what she considers being "positive" for the environment and the economy.
The main issues for the campaign, she says, are protection of Medicare and Social Security, maintaining rights and programs for veterans and women, creating jobs in the small-business sector and reforming the banking industry, which has "corrupted the whole democratic process by buying elections" after the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as people.
She believes the outlook for a Democratic candidate in the 2nd District has improved in the past two years because of a drop in Republican registration, because women voters want programs that help with food and education for children, and because of the Occupy Wall Street movement, "which shows us there's a wake-up call, a call for truth and to repair a system that many see as broke. People are asking for truth and real solutions."
Segers says she will challenge Walden to a debate, a request he declined last time.
She says she supports President Obama and believes the Republican-controlled House can swing back Democratic "because there is such anger and frustration among voters."
Although the district hasn't elected a Democrat since 1980, Segers says, "I believe in miracles."
Michael Miles of Klamath Falls, chairman of the 2nd District Democratic Campaign Committee, said: "There's always a chance. The voter mood is fed up with both sides. The issues will primarily be jobs and the housing market."
Segers will formally announce her candidacy at 11 a.m. Thursday at Jackson County Democratic headquarters, 40 S. Central Ave., Medford.
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at email@example.com.