Attorney General candidate Bob Ferguson held a luncheon fundraiser Thursday featuring Oregon’s new attorney general Ellen Rosenblum, the state’s first female AG.
At the $100-a-plate event, where supporters lunched on croissants filled with portobello-and-mozzarella, Rosenblum reinforced one of Ferguson’s campaign themes: that he, as a Democrat, would better protect women’s rights than his opponent, Republican Reagan Dunn.
“We can’t let Mr. Dunn bring a war on women’s health to the Northwest,” Rosenblum told the crowd at the Washington State Convention Center — even though Dunn is pro-choice, supports same-sex marriage, and was raised by his single mother, the late U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn, a GOP moderate.
Rosenblum and Ferguson said women’s reproductive rights were relevant in the AG’s race. She said that because Dunn told a Bellingham radio show that he hoped pharmacists would win their legal battle with the state allowing them not to sell morning-after contraceptives if doing so conflicted with their religious beliefs. (Despite his comment, Dunn contends as attorney general he would continue to press the state’s case that pharmacists must provide morning-after contraceptives.)
Rosenblum is something of an oddity as a state attorney general. A career prosecutor and judge, Rosenblum, 61, doesn’t seem to fit the profile of AG as “Aspiring Governor” or ambitious politician. She was appointed to the post this year by Gov. John Kitzhaber after her predecessor John Kroger stepped down to become president of Portland’s Reed College. In November’s election Rosenblum faces Republican challenger James Buchal. (Disclosure: I worked for a newspaper in the 1990s owned by Rosenblum’s husband.)
Dunn holds his big general election fundraiser Sept. 20 in Bellevue. Both Dunn and Ferguson recently topped $1 million in campaign contributions. National groups, representing both parties, are expected to make independent expenditures in Washington state’s AG race.