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Thirty-six seek major-party nominations; new 6th District congressional seat also draws a crowd on primary deadline.

A record number of candidates filed for the major-party nominations for governor, which Democrat Kate Brown is vacating after almost two full terms.

When filing closed Tuesday, March 8, 17 Democrats and 19 Republicans had qualified for the May 17 primary ballot.

But they do not start out on an equal footing.

The best known Democratic candidates are Tobias Read of Beaverton, who is in his second term as state treasurer; Tina Kotek of Portland, who was in the Oregon House for 15 years and led it for a record nine years as its speaker; and Patrick Starnes of Brownsville, the 2018 Independent Party nominee, who withdrew and endorsed Brown.

The best known Republican candidates are two former nominees, Bud Pierce of Salem, who lost to Brown in 2016 for the two years remaining in John Kitzhaber's fourth term, and Bill Sizemore of Redmond, who lost in 1998 when Kitzhaber won his second term.

Also prominent are Christine Drazan of Canby, a former GOP leader of the Oregon House who just resigned her seat after two terms; Bob Tiernan of Lake Oswego, a former two-term state representative, former finalist for the Oregon Supreme Court and former state party chairman; and Mayors Stan Pulliam of Sandy and Kerry McQuisten of Baker City. Political strategist Bridget Barton of West Linn, businesswoman Jessica Gomez of Medford and Marc Thielsen, former Alsea schools superintendent, also are in the running.

Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator from Scappoose, would have to file about 24,000 signatures after the primary to qualify as a nonaffiliated candidate for governor on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. She is not seeking the nomination of the Independent Party, which like other minor parties has a process other than statewide primaries to qualify candidates.

Democrats have held Oregon's top executive office for a record 36 years. Vic Atiyeh's 1982 re-election was the most recent victory by a Republican.

Seven people filed for state labor commissioner, which Val Hoyle of Springfield is vacating after one term to run for the Democratic nomination for the open 4th District U.S. House seat.

Among them are Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla, who had been running for the Democratic nomination for governor, and Cheri Helt of Bend, a Republican who lost her Oregon House seat in 2020 after one term.

6th District crowd

The field is also crowded for Oregon's newest U.S. House seat, the 6th District, which extends from Portland's southern suburbs into Yamhill and Polk counties and the portion of Marion County that includes Salem and Woodburn.

The race for the new seat, which Oregon gained after the 2020 Census, drew nine Democrats and seven Republicans (one is tentative).

Democrats include two state representatives, Teresa Alonso Leon of Woodburn and Andrea Salinas of Lake Oswego, and former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith.

Republicans include Jim Bunn of Amity, who held the 5th District seat for one term before he lost to Democrat Darlene Hooley in 1996, three-term state Rep. Ron Noble of Carlton, Dundee Mayor David Russ, and Amy Ryan Courser of Keizer, the 2020 GOP nominee in the 5th District. A late entrant was Mike Erickson of Lake Oswego, the 2006 nominee against Hooley and 2008 nominee against Democrat Kurt Schrader of Canby, who succeeded Hooley in the 5th District seat.

Other races

Schrader himself faces a stiff Democratic primary challenge from Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne in the newly drawn 5th, which now takes in Linn County and part of Deschutes County. McLeod-Skinner was the party nominee in the 2nd District in 2018 against Republican Greg Walden, who has since retired from the House, and a Democratic candidate for Oregon secretary of state in 2020.

On the Republican side are Lori Chavez-DeRemer, former Happy Valley mayor, and Jimmy Crumpacker of Tumalo, who ran in the 2020 GOP primary for the 2nd District seat eventually won by Cliff Bentz of Ontario.

The other metro-area Democratic incumbents in the U.S. House, Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton (1st) and Earl Blumenauer of Portland (3rd), drew little-known opponents.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who has held his seat since a special election in 1996, also faces little-known challengers in both parties. Jo Rae Perkins of Albany, the 2020 Republican nominee against Sen. Jeff Merkley who embraced conspiracy theories, is making a second bid.

As is customary, no one filed against five incumbents on the Oregon Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Brown just named a justice to the high court and three appeals judges, all of whom are seeking full six-year terms to their nonpartisan offices.

But Vance Day, a former Marion County judge, is attempting a comeback against Darleen Ortega, currently the longest serving judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals. Day, a former Oregon Republican Party chairman, was appointed a judge in 2011. He was suspended by the Oregon Supreme Court in 2018 for three years without pay, although the state eventually dropped criminal charges against him.

The Judicial Fitness Commission recommended Day's removal from the bench after he declined in 2016 to perform marriages for same-sex couples, which became legal in Oregon in 2014. The commission took notes of other accusations against Day.

A complete list of filings is below. Filings for state legislative seats are in a separate story.

Governor

(Four-year term)

Democratic incumbent Kate Brown is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Democrats (17): David Beem, Salem; Julian Bell, Ashland; Wilson Bright, Portland; George Carrillo, Sherwood; Michael Cross, Salem; Ifeanyichukwu C. Diru, Beaverton; Peter Hall, Haines; Tina Kotek, Portland; Dave Lavinsky, Bend; Keisha Lanell Merchant, Corvallis; Tobias Read, Beaverton; Patrick Starnes, Brownsville; Dave Stauffer, Portland; John Sweeney, Portland; Michael Trimble, Portland; Genevieve Wilson H., Portland; Peter Winter, Milwaukie.

Republicans (19): Raymond Baldwin, Canby; Bridget Barton, West Linn; Court Boice, Gold Beach; David Burch, Salem; Reed Christensen, Hillsboro; Christine Drazan, Canby; Jessica Gomez, Medford; Nick Hess, Tigard; Tim McCloud, Salem; Kerry McQuisten, Baker City; Brandon Merritt, Bend; Bud Pierce, Salem; John Presco, Springfield; Stan Pulliam, Sandy; Amber Richardson, White City; Bill Sizemore, Redmond; Stefan G. Strek, Eugene; Marc Thielman, Cottage Grove; Bob Tiernan, Lake Oswego.

State labor commissioner

(Four-year term; nonpartisan)

Incumbent Val Hoyle is running for the 4th District congressional seat. If no one wins a majority, the top two finishers advance to the Nov. 8 general election.

Candidates (7): Aaron Baca, Cornelius; Brent Barker, Aloha; Cheri Helt, Bend; Chris Henry, Oregon City; Casey Kulla, Dayton; Robert Neuman, Greenhorn; Christina Stephenson, Cedar Hills.

U.S. Senate

(Six-year term)

Democrats (3): Ron Wyden, Portland, incumbent since 1996; William E. Barlow III, McMinnville; Brent Thompson, Gold Beach.

Republicans (7): Jason Beebe, Prineville; Christopher Christensen, Beaverton; Robert M. Fleming, Gresham; Darin Harbick, Blue River; Sam Palmer, John Day; Jo Rae Perkins, Albany; Ibra A. Taher, Eugene.

U.S. House

(Two-year terms)

District 1

(Parts of Washington and Multnomah counties; Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook counties)

Democrats (3): Suzanne Bonamici, Beaverton, incumbent since 2012; Scott Phillips, Beaverton; Christian Robertson, Hillsboro.

Republicans (2): Christopher Mann, Hillsboro; Armidia "Army" Murray, Beaverton.

District 2

(Eastern, Southern and part of Central Oregon, except Bend)

Republicans (3): Cliff Bentz of Ontario, incumbent since 2021, seeking second term; Mark Kavener, Klamath Falls; Katherine Gallant, Ukiah.

Democrats (2): Adam Prine, Medford; Joe Yetter, Azalea.

District 3

(Parts of Multnomah and Clackamas counties; Hood River County)

Democrats (2): Earl Blumenauer, Portland, incumbent since 1996; Jonathan Polhemus, Lake Oswego.

Republican: Joanna Harbour, Estacada.

District 4

(Southwest Oregon; central coast)

Democrats (8): Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, Corvallis; Doyle Canning, Eugene; Val Hoyle, Springfield; Andrew Kalloch, Eugene; Steve Van Laible, Grants Pass; Jake Matthews, Corvallis; John Selker, Corvallis; G. Tommy Smith, Eugene. The incumbent, Peter DeFazio of Springfield, is not seeking re-election.

Republican: Alek Skarlatos, Roseburg.

District 5

(Parts of Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Linn and Deschutes counties)

Democrats (2): Kurt Schrader, Canby, incumbent since 2009; Jamie McLeod-Skinner, Terrebonne.

Republicans (5): Lori Chavez-DeRemer, Happy Valley; Jimmy Crumpacker, Tumalo; John DiPaola, Wilsonville; Madison Oatman, Bend; Laurel Roses, Mulino.

District 6

(New seat; parts of Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah and Marion counties; Polk and Yamhill counties)

Democrats (9): Teresa Alonso Leon, Woodburn; Ricky Barajas, Portland; Carrick Flynn, McMinnville; Greg Goodwin, Newberg; Kathleen Harder, Salem; Cody Reynolds, Tualatin; Andrea Salinas, Lake Oswego; Loretta Smith, Portland; Matt West, Beaverton.

Republicans (7): Jim Bunn, Amity; Mike Erickson, Lake Oswego (pending); Ron Noble, Carlton; Angela Plowhead, Salem; David Russ, Dundee; Amy Ryan Courser, Keizer; Nathan Sandvig, Neskowin.

Oregon Supreme Court

(Six-year term; nonpartisan)

Position 6: Roger DeHoog, appointed incumbent.

Oregon Court of Appeals

(Six-year term; nonpartisan)

Position 3: Darleen Ortega, incumbent, served since 2003; Vance Day, Powell Butte.

Position 5: Scott Shorr, incumbent, served since 2016.

Position 8: Ramón Pagán, appointed incumbent.

Position 10: Kristina Hellman, appointed incumbent.

Position 11: Anna Joyce, appointed incumbent.

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NOTE: Adds filings for U.S. House (congressional) districts 2 and 4. Adds explanation for how Betsy Johnson can qualify for the Nov. 8 general election ballot as a nonaffiliated candidate for governor. Corrects home community for Val Hoyle in U.S. House District 4.


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