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The former Republican state representative from Scholls had hoped to be a nonpartisan candidate for office.

OPB PHOTO: DIRK VANDERHART - Rich Vial addresses supporters at a drive-in nomination event Saturday, July 25, at a Beaverton-area farm. Vial didn't muster the support he needed to qualify for the ballot, and he announced he will not continue with his campaign for Oregon secretary of state.Former Deputy Secretary of State Rich Vial failed Saturday, July 25, in his long-shot attempt to qualify for the November ballot via a rarely used provision of state law.

Vial, a former state representative from Scholls who had hoped to run as a nonpartisan candidate for secretary of state this year, fell short of gathering 1,000 registered voters in a Beaverton farm field.

Organizers of the event said a little more than half that showed up, waiting in their cars while Vial spoke to them via an FM radio transmitter — a drive-in movie theater style set-up conceived as a concession to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Folks, we're just a little over 500," Vial announced just after 10:45 a.m., 15 minutes before a self-imposed deadline he'd set to hit his goal. "We're not going to get to 1,000."

Vial was hoping to become the first candidate in more than 35 years to make the secretary of state ballot via a statute that allows nominations via an "assembly of electors." Had he succeeded in gathering 1,000 voters at the same place, at the same time, to signal their support for his candidacy, Vial would have been placed on the November ballot as a nonpartisan candidate.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group. Read the full story at

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