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Westlund's Opponent Issues Debate Challenge 

Republican business executive Allen Alley threw down the gauntlet to Ben Westlund today, challenging his rival for the state treasurer's job to a series of

Republican business executive Allen Alley threw down the gauntlet to Ben Westlund today, challenging his rival for the state treasurer's job to a series of debates.

Alley, 53, of Lake Oswego, was appointed as Gov. Ted Kulongoski's deputy chief of staff in January 2007. He resigned that position yesterday in preparation for the launch of his state treasurer campaign.

In a press release today, Alley emphasized his business experience. "We deserve people in public office who can bring new ideas and energy to this state," he said. "While other career politicians have been running for office, I have spent the last 30 years growing companies and jobs that enrich our communities. Oregonians need a treasurer with real-world experience they can trust."

Alley is chairman of the board and former CEO of Pixelworks, a high-tech company that has been struggling in the past couple of years with declining profits. The company's stock once traded at $40 a share but is now trading at less than $1. Back in February it was rumored that Alley would make a run for the 5th District congressional seat being vacated by Darlene Hooley.

Alley and Westlund, a Tumalo rancher and businessman who was elected to the state Senate as a Republican and switched parties in 2007, both were unopposed in their parties' primaries.

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