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Commissioner Steve Novick

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View More 'Most intriguing': Readers pick Wehby, Oregonian politics team taps Novick

April 19, 2014 | Steve Novick and Monica Wehby emerged as winners Friday in The Oregonian’s first-ever effort to name the state’s most intriguing figure in politics and public life.

Novick, the Portland city commissioner and one-time candidate for U.S. Senate, won the bracket voted on by the newspaper’s politics team. Wehby, who is trying to win the Republican nomination to take on Democrat Jeff Merkley in the U.S. Senate race, was the readers’ choice.

So what’s it all mean? Should Novick be crowned King of Portlandia? Should Merkley simply concede now?

Of course not. This was an exercise less in democracy than in the allure of the Internet, where readers often hold as much sway as the so-called pros.

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Here's how The Oregonian's political staff voted on the 'most intriguing' bracket.
Courtesy of PrintYourBrackets

“I’m flattered but perplexed,” Novick said about winning the 32-person bracket voted on by staff political writers and editors. “I tend to think of ‘intriguing’ as being complex or mysterious. And I don’t think of myself as complex or mysterious.”

He said he thought Gov. John Kitzhaber, whom Novick beat in the quarterfinals, was way more of an intriguing guy.

Wehby won the readers’ choice bracket after a close contest with Nike co-founder Phil Knight. More than 7,000 votes were tallied, far more than any of the other matchups.

Wehby called her win "an honor" and attributed it in part to her 20,000 Facebook followers and 1,000 Twitter followers. The contest obviously wasn't scientific and doesn't predict anything, she said, but it helped get her name out.

"It doesn't matter how great of a candidate you are if nobody knows who you are," Wehby said.

The contest, dreamed up as a way to engage readers in the often mundane world of state politics, took on a life of its own after it began two weeks ago.

By the end, thousands of readers were checking the brackets, voting and commenting. Some called it lame, others seemed to enjoy READ FULL ARTICLE