Rep. David Wu draws primary challenge

Amid continuing reports of his personal problems, Oregon Democratic Rep. David Wu now has an entirely new issue on his hands: a serious 2012 primary challenger.

On Monday morning, state labor commissioner Democrat Brad Avakian announced his intention to challenge Wu. Speaking at the Willow Creek Campus of Portland Community College, the former state lawmaker confirmed what has been widely speculated.

"I love my current job — helping Oregon businesses succeed and protecting the rights of all Oregonians. But these are principles that my district needs an effective representative to pursue in Congress," Avakian stated on his campaign website.

"Together we can give Northwest Oregon the kind of tough, effective leadership we need in Congress," he touted as his slogan.

Though there's no direct mention of Wu on Avakian's website, he emphasizes "effective" leadership throughout.

Earlier this year, there were multiple calls for Wu to resign following erratic behavior that led to revelations of mental health issues and his decision not to share them with his constituents prior to his Nov. 2 re-election.

The Portland Tribune reports that Wu has scheduled town hall meetings for next week. These will be the first such meetings since the controversy erupted over Wu's questionable behavior.

Avakian is the first Democrat to enter the race. Former state Rep. Greg Macpherson has also publicly indicated he is weighing a bid for the seat.

(Photo of Avakian: