"I don’t want to let anyone sneak up on me,” he said then.
Boren wouldn’t appear to have that problem. At the end of September, he had $1.3 million in his campaign account.
And though the House Republican campaign committee has said Boren is a target in 2010, Boren hasn’t given the party much ammunition.
He has sided with Republicans on several major bills this year. After voting for the $787 billion stimulus package, Boren voted against climate change legislation and the House health care bill.
Recently, he opposed a huge spending bill for numerous government departments and agencies, an overhaul of financial regulations and a $154 billion bill to extend unemployment benefits, build and repair highways and to prevent layoffs of state and local workers.
And, just four months after going to Europe, China and Canada with House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, Boren made a trip to Panama with Boehner two weeks ago. Like his trip with Boehner in August, Boren was the only Democrat visiting Panama.
"He always has me on the list, I guess,” he said.
Whether his relationship with the top Republican leader means the GOP won’t try to defeat Boren next year remains an open question.
Boren’s eastern Oklahoma district is heavily Democratic, but Republican Sen. John McCain won it overwhelmingly in the 2008 presidential election. Boren never endorsed Barack Obama in the race.
The Oklahoma lawmaker said the agenda in the House this year, which has focused on some issues that weren’t politically practical when Republican George W. Bush was president, has disappointed fiscal conservatives like himself and other Blue Dogs.
"There are times when I would have liked to have seen different bills and different votes,” Boren said. "Some people in more moderate and conservative districts have been frustrated. I’m staying optimistic.”
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