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Former Oregon politico loses Massachusetts gubernatorial primary

Massachusettes gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively was the face of the conservative Oregon Citizens Alliance for more than 15 years.

LIVELY FOR GOVERNOR - Scott Lively, a conservative pastor who was formerly the face of Oregon Citizens Alliance, faced off with Massachusetts Gov. Charlier Baker in the Republican primary for that state's governor.Scott Lively, the face of the conservative Oregon Citizens Alliance in the 1990s, has lost to Gov. Charlier Baker in the Massachusetts Republican primary but pulled a surprisingly high vote count late Tuesday.

The Associated Press called the race shortly after 6 p.m. PST.

Baker, whom Lively described as a Democrat masquerading as a Republican, is a moderate who has repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump.

Lively campaigned in the Massachusetts primary on a pro-life, pro-gun and pro-Trump platform. Around 6:30 p.m. PST, he had garnered about 36 percent of the vote, despite raising a fraction of the campaign funds as Baker.

"I promise to be the most pro-Trump governor in the country," Lively said in an interview with the Pamplin/EO Capital Bureau before the deadline to turn in ballots Tuesday. "I know that's going to drive people in Portland insane, but they're already three-quarters of the way there."

Baker spent about $4 million on the primary campaign, while Lively spent nearly $128,000. About $5,500 of contributions to Lively's campaign came from Oregon, according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Lively served as a prominent spokesman for the conservative activist group Oregon Citizens Alliance between 1988 and 1995.

The OCA formed in 1986 to advance a challenger in the Republican primary to Bob Packwood, a pro-choice U.S. senator representing Oregon. The position was the beginning of his long career of anti-gay activism in the United States and abroad.

During Lively's stint as spokesman, the alliance successfully passed Measure 8 to repeal then-Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. The measure additionally enacted a statute that prohibited job protection in state government for people who identified as homosexual.

In 1992, the alliance proposed Measure 9 to amend the Oregon Constitution to ban "special rights" for homosexual individuals. Voters defeated the measure 56 percent to 44 percent. The same year, The Oregon Court of Appeals overturned Measure 8 as unconstitutional.

Lively moved to Oregon from Massachusetts in 1977 to take advantage of the state's liberal laws on cannabis, he said in an interview Tuesday, Sept. 4, with the Pamplin/EO Capital Bureau. At the time, Lively was a self-described alcoholic and drug addict. When he decided to follow the Christian faith during a low point in rehab, his political views turned conservative, he said.

Lively left Oregon in 1995 to go to law school and graduated with J.D. from Trinity Law School in Santa Ana in 1999.

Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau
email: pachen@portlandtribune.com
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