Democrats nominate three for House District 47 seat
Andrea Valderrama, Adrienne Enghouse and Robin Castro are the Democratic Party nominees for the Oregon House seat that Diego Hernandez just vacated in District 47.
Precinct committee people from the East Portland district listed those candidates in descending order for consideration by Multnomah County commissioners, who have the final say. The board will announce a date for public interviews and a vote.
Hernandez resigned, effective Monday, March 15, after the House Committee on Conduct concluded he committed 18 violations of a legislative rule against sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. The rule was broadened in 2019 to cover not just members and staff but anyone who does business with the Legislature.
Hernandez sought to head off a vote by the full House to expel him, but a federal judge denied his motion to block action.
The state party sent mail ballots to precinct committee members, instead of convening a meeting because of the coronavirus pandemic, and announced the results Monday.
Valderrama is a policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, chair of the David Douglas School Board, and was a 2018 candidate for the Portland City Council seat eventually won by Jo Ann Hardesty. She filed for a restraining order against Hernandez last year, but then withdrew her request in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
The committee report did not identify the five women whose complaints were investigated. Hernandez said one was a lobbyist and two were aides to local elected officials.
Teressa Raiford of Don't Shoot PDX, a candidate for mayor last year, testified on the record. Another person, whose name was not disclosed but who was identified as a former chief of staff to Hernandez, also testified to the committee. But members did not conclude that their allegations were credible.
The other District 47 nominees were Enghouse, a nurse who also was a nominee for the Senate District 24 seat that eventually went to Kayse Jama, and Castro, a community activist who ran for the Portland City Council last year.
The fourth candidate, who did not make the list of nominees, was Cayle Tern, a mental health counselor who is active in Service Employees International Union.
Hernandez filed his resignation in advance of an expulsion vote recommended by the committee. Neither chamber of the Legislature has ever expelled a member on grounds of "disorderly behavior" in 162 years of statewide.
The appointee will complete the 21 months remaining in Hernandez's third term, which he was elected to on Nov. 3. State law requires his successor to be a Democrat.
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