Running in the May 17 primary, Paul Weaver, a retired locomotive engineer residing in Toledo, wants to give Oregon Democrats a clear choice for U.S. Senate.
Weaver is a member of the National Rifle Association, which gives his opponent—incumbent Ron Wyden an F grade.
Weaver is pro-life while Wyden is pro-choice.
The Affordable Care Act? Wyden voted for it. Weaver would repeal it.
Wyden’s campaign has raised more than $6 million. Weaver would like to spend less than $750 and won’t be in the voter’s pamphlet because it costs $3,000.
And the list goes on and on.
“Conventional wisdom would tell you I don’t have a chance but I talk to a lot of people at my level, where I’m coming from,” Weaver said.
“They tell me how disgusted they are with the way things are going in Washington. If I could touch base with those people, even if I don’t win the vote, if I can get some Democrats that don’t like the Democratic platform or the way things are going in Washington, to vote for me, at least it will send a message to the Democrats.” Weaver has been a registered Democrat since 1979 but broke away from the party during the past two presidential races to vote for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
He plans to vote for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary but would prefer Republican Ted Cruz in the November general election.
“I did not vote for [Barack] Obama,” Weaver said. “I did not like the way he was presenting things. He never told us what he was going to do. When I started getting his literature, I switched over to Republican so I wouldn’t get it and then after that was over, I switched back.”
As a Democrat, Weaver ran against Senator Jeff Merkley as a write-in candidate in 2013.
Weaver has decided to forgo retirement and run for Senate again because he doesn’t like the country that is being left behind to his four children and eight grandchildren. He calls himself a conservative Democrat like past U.S. Presidents Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy.
“When Kennedy took over, he stimulated the economy by lowering taxes and the Republicans objected to it and now we’re down to Republicans want to lower taxes and the Democrats object to it,” Weaver said.
“I just think that we need to be working more together and get things done in Washington and clean up the financial mess that’s developed the last 30 years.”
Weaver, who also wants to balance the budget and introduce term limits of 12 years for the House and Senate, said he didn’t think about running for Senate as a Republican but would instead like to return the Democratic Party back to its roots.
“I think the Democratic Party has gone way too far left and if I have a little part about bringing them back to reality, I’d sure like to be a part of it,” he said.
Weaver also has his sights set on Wyden, who has been in Congress since 1981 and served in the Senate since 1996.
“I don’t think he’s an Oregonian anymore,” Weaver said of Wyden. “He always talks about going to all of the counties every year and having these town hall meetings. The rest of the time, as far as I know, he spends it in New York City with his wife and kids. They own a home in Manhattan.”
When asked how he could possibly defeat Wyden with so many financial disadvantages, Weaver replied, “With a lot of prayer and people being involved in helping spread the word because I don’t have any money. It’s no advertising and it’s word of mouth.”
Weaver has purchased 5,000 business cards with the slogan, “God, Family, Country and Constitution,” and a link to his website—www.paulweaver
forussenate.com. He hands them out at the grocery store and goes to as many events, like the Portland Swap Meet, as he can.
“I tell them ‘That card that you’re looking at is my campaign, share it with people, take pictures of it and put it on Facebook, put it everywhere out there,’” Weaver said. “I get a lot of positive response.
Physically, I’m limited because it’s just me and my wife but the people I do talk to are very positive and very encouraging. Whether or not that translates into a win on May 17, I’ll keep working until then and we’ll see what happens.”