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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Cruz Campaign Yields Oregon To Kasich

Campaign photos
Ted Cruz, right, will ''clear the path'' in Oregon for Ohio Governor John Kasich, left, in the state's Republican primary.

Oregon's Republican presidential primary is taking on a new look. The Ted Cruz campaign said the Texas senator will stand down in Oregon to clear a path for Ohio Governor John Kasich. The Cruz campaign will also pull back its efforts in New Mexico.

In return, the Kasich camp will back off in Indiana.

It's part of a new strategy to deny Republican front-runner Donald Trump enough delegates to win the GOP nomination outright. But it doesn't mean supporters of Cruz and Kasich will automatically switch allegiances in those states.

Oregon Republican state Rep. Bill Post said he still plans to vote for Ted Cruz in next month's primary. But he can understand the strategy behind the joint announcement.

"I think it's a smart move if you're one of those two guys,” Post said. “Is it going to work? Probably not."

Responding to the move by the Cruz and Kasich campaigns, Trump said in statement that his rivals "have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive."

Oregon wasn't always on John Kasich's radar. The campaign didn't even file a statement in the Oregon voter's pamphlet.

The Ohio governor is planning at least two campaign stops in Oregon in advance of next month's primary. On April 28, Kasich will speak at rallies in Portland and Medford. As of now, neither Ted Cruz nor Donald Trump has planned any stops in Oregon.

Oregon’s presidential primary will potentially be relevant for both Republicans and Democrats. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have each opened campaign offices in Oregon in advance of the May 17 primary.