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Once more from the mist.

In the fourth part of an occasional series, we’re in Oregon, where Democrat Jeff Merkley is challenging Republican Gordon Smith for the United States Senate.

Merkley led a band of progressives to take control of the Oregon House eighteen months ago, and has used his tenure as Speaker to fight for health care, family-wage jobs, and environmental legislation, and against payday loan scandals. Merkley is the first Oregon Democrat to serve as Speaker in 16 years. Before entering politics, he ran Habitat for Humanity in Oregon and served as a national security analyst at the Pentagon and in Congress.

And beyond all of that, he understands the power of community fundraisers like you, and the power of ActBlue. And he’s got a favor to ask of you.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Jeff Merkley:

(*ActBlue does not take sides in a contested primary, and does not endorse particular candidates for office.)

You heard the man.

Go to http://www.actblue.com today and do your part for the candidates you believe in.

Thanks for stopping by. More next week, so stay tuned!

We’ve just come back from Netroots Nation, and while we were there, we ran into some of our very favorite people: our candidates.

The crop of Democrats working to take back Washington this fall is like none we’ve ever seen: talented, driven, and passionate about change. And we figured, what better than to show you some of what we saw?

Starting this week, and continuing every week until the election, we’ll use this space to introduce you to some of ActBlue’s best and brightest from around the country, from California and Washington to New York and Florida. Hear what they have to say about community fundraising, the issues that have compelled them to run, and the state of the race.

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Our first stop: The Nevada Second, where Jill Derby is running for Congress. A fourth generation Nevadan, Jill served eighteen years on the Nevada Board of Regents, guiding the state’s System of Higher Education. Jill holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, a specialty she chose after living and working in the Middle East, and has taught at four universities.

And then there’s her political skill. As chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party, Jill oversaw this year’s historic Nevada Caucuses, exceeding all predictions about turnout and helping more than 120,000 Nevadans to participate at more than 1700 precinct meetings across the state.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Jill Derby.

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Want to send great ideas to Congress? Go to www.actblue.com today and do your part.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for next week’s candidate profile! Not to tease, but it rhymes with, er, ‘Rhymes.’

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