News

Candidate filing period begins for Oregon's May primary

Secretary of state laments so many unopposed races

SALEM, Ore. - (Update: Adding candidates who filed on first day)

The 2020 election is upon us. Candidate filing for offices on the May 19 primary election ballot opened Thursday.

Oregonians will be voting for president, US senator and US representative. Statewide offices up for a vote include secretary of state, state treasurer and attorney general.

Sixteen of Oregon's 30 state Senate seats will be on the ballot and all 60 state representative seats will be up for election. We will also vote on members of the Oregon Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and circuit courts.

Twenty-one county district attorney positions will also be voted upon. There will also be local offices and measures that will appear on your ballot. For a full list of offices that will be voted on in 2020 visit https://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/open-offices.pdf.

Among first-day filers seeking re-election: Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, Crook County Sheriff John Gautney, Crook County Judge Seth Crawford and Jefferson County Treasurer Brandie McNamee.

One of the top state races is for secretary of state, the second-highest statewide office after the governor and currently held by Republican appointee Bev Clarno, who said she won't seek election to a full term.

Filing papers as Democratic candidates for the seat were Terrebonne resident Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who in 2018 unsuccessfully tried to unseat Rep. Greg Walden, and Rep. Mark Hass, a state legislator and former Portland TV reporter.

Also, two Democrats filed for the 2nd District congressional seat held by Walden: John Holm of Medford and The Dalles resident Raz Mason.

Unfortunately, recent elections have not had very many people run, which means voters have not had much to choose from, Clarno said in a news release.

In the 2018 primary, for example, 91.7% of state representative seats did not provide any choices, as either no one filed to run or only one person filed. The state Senate seats were not much better, with 85.1% where either no one filed to run or only one person filed.

For circuit court seats, only 18.9% had more than one candidate to choose from, and only one of the 14 district attorney positions had more than one candidate.

Clarno said, "As a lifelong volunteer, and serving in the Legislature and now as secretary of state, there is only one way to change things. I urge you to get involved and run for an office."

It is easy to become a candidate. To learn how to run for office, take a look at the secretary of state's Candidate Manual on their website at https://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/statecandidates.pdf


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