If the opinion of experienced political observers here means anything a Jew may be the next governor of Oregon. Julius Meier, Portland merchant and civic worker, was recently nominated as an independent candidate at a monster mass meeting of Liberals and those Republicans who nominated the late George W. Joseph as the Republican candidate in the May primaries. Meier was also a candidate in the primaries but came in a close second to his friend, Joseph.
The election of Meier, prominent in Jewish affairs, as governor would climax a long succession of important political officers held by Jews in Oregon. Should he be elected in November he would be the first Jew elected governor of a state since Moses Alexander was elected governor of Idaho for a second term in 1915.
With a Jewish population of about 20,000 according to the last available statistics, Oregon has had many important Jewish political figures. Joseph Simon, former United States Senator, began a political career in 1877 that ran the gamut from councilman to the United States Senate. In the interim, he was a member of the state senate for 18 years and also president of that body.
Solomon Hirsch, later U. S. minister to Turkey, was both speaker of the assembly and president of the senate. He was also the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1886. Later he was mayor of Portland. In 1914 Phillip Wasserman was also mayor of Portland, being succeeded by Bernard Goldsmith. Ben Selling was president of the state senate and the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in 1912. In 1915 he returned to the state legislature and was made speaker. Louis Fleischner was state treasurer in 1893.
Bearing in mind the state-wide dissatisfaction with the Hoover administration and the general revolt against the Republican political machine it appears that the prognostications of the political soothsayers have considerable basis in fact, and when next election day rolls around Julius Meier of Portland may well find himself governor of Oregon.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.