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Three vie to be Multnomah County's next sheriff, making it the first contested election in over a decade.

COURTESY PHOTOS - Left to right, Multnomah County Undersheriff Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell, Capt. Derrick Peterson, Deputy Nicholas AlbertsThree candidates are set to face off in the race for sheriff of Multnomah County.

The deadline for candidates to file to run in the upcoming May 17 primary election was Tuesday, March 8.

Voters will choose between Multnomah County Sheriff's Office employees Undersheriff Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell, Capt. Derrick Peterson and corrections deputy Nicholas Alberts.

It will be the first contested election since 2010, when incumbent former sheriff Dan Staton ran against Sgt. Muhammad Ra'oof.

Whoever wins the election will replace Sheriff Mike Reese, who can't run again because the position is term-limited. Reese was appointed in 2016 after Staton resigned. He was elected in 2018 after running unopposed.

Morrisey O'Donnell is the first woman to serve as second-in-command of the Sheriff's Office, being appointed to the position last August. She has served with the Sheriff's Office since 1996, when she was hired as a corrections deputy.

Peterson is captain of the Sheriff's Office's auxillary services division, which oversees the transfer of supplies across the agency and storage of materials for adults in custody. He started working with the agency in 1986 as a corrections deputy.

Alberts has served as a corrections deputy at the Sheriff's Office since 2018. Before that, he worked as a security officer with the private security provider Portland Patrol Inc., according to candidate filing documents.

Candidates must win more than 50% of the votes in the May primary to be elected outright. If no one receives 50%, the two candidates with the most votes will face each other in a runoff during the Nov. 8 general election.

The following are summaries of the candidates, including the amount of money each candidate has raised so far:


Candidate: Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell

Occupation: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office undersheriff

Law enforcement experience: 25 years


Campaign contributions to date: $51,076

Other information: Morrisey O'Donnell has secured the endorsements from local elected officials, including Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, the sheriffs of Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Yamhill and Hood River counties, and the mayors of Troutdale, Wood Village and Maywood Park — cities that contract with the Sheriff's Office for police services.

Candidate: Derrick Peterson

Occupation: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office captain

Law enforcement experience: 35 years


Campaign contributions to date: $41,580

Other information: Peterson is the president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, a membership-based nonprofit made up of Black law enforcement officials working to promote equity in policing. In 2020, following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, Peterson created "Standing Together," an event for law enforcement officers of color to connect and share experiences.

Candidate: Nicholas Alberts

Occupation: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office corrections deputy

Law enforcement experience: Four years

Website: None

Campaign contributions to date: No filings on the Oregon Secretary of State's website.

Other information: Alberts, who studied criminal justice at Portland State University, is a graduate of Jefferson High School in Portland, according to candidate filing documents.

Max Egener
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