Pres. Obama rallies in Portland for Kitzhaber

Pres. Obama rallies in Portland for Kitzhaber

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by kgw.com and AP Staff

kgw.com

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 8:25 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 21 at 12:41 PM

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Will Barack Obama's visit to Portland influence your vote for governor?

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Around 10,000 people crowded into the Oregon Convention Center late Wednesday afternoon to hear President Barack Obama's speech in person. The president was in Portland to campaign in support of Democratic Gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber.

The president spoke for about 30 minutes before heading off to attend a private fundraiser, then to Seattle for another campaign appearance.

Event organizers said the ballroom's seats were filled on a first-come, first-served basis and that an indoor overflow room had also been set up.

PHOTOS: Obama rally in Portland

Air Force One landed at Portland late in the afternoon. The president disembarked at about 5:30 p.m., greeting Democratic John Kitzhaber and members of Oregon's congressional delegation. Senators Jeff Merkely and Ron Wyden joined Reps. David Wu and Earl Blumenauer to introduce Kitzhaber, who is seeking his third term as governor.

Obama roused the crowd at about 7 p.m., making reference to the No.1 UO Ducks and his own brother in-law as a coach for the Oregon State Beavers.

Raw Video: Pres. Obama arrives at PDX

Area interstates were temporarily closed down for the president's motorcade and drivers, along with passengers on TriMet buses and MAX trains, were warned to expect major delays.

The former two-term governor faces a tight race against political newcomer and former Trail Blazer Chris Dudley. Kitzhaber is hoping that the Obama fever which energized young voters in Oregon during the presidential election will lift him over Dudley.

More: Kitzhaber hopes Obama will earn him more votes

Debate: Governor candidates spar over jobs, taxes on KGW

The Obama event in Portland was free and open to the public. Attendees underwent airport-like security.

Your Pics: Share/view your photos of Obama event

Obama's Portland visit was part of a five-state four-day campaign swing for democrats, his longest of the season.  After Portland, he headed to Seattle to stump for Sen. Patty Murray.

More: Details on Obama's Seattle event

Just one day earlier, Vice President Joe Biden was in Vancouver, Wash., stumping for Democratic Senator Patty Murray.  More than 800 people watched, standing-room only, as Biden spoke.

More: VP Biden rallies in Vancouver

Murray, a three-term incumbent is in a competitve re-election contest against Republican Dino Rossi.

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