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Marion County Democrats' precinct representatives choose former Keizer city councilor to run for District 11 seat.

The Democratic Party of Oregon announced Thursday, June 30, that Democratic Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs) from Senate District 11 met at Whiteaker Middle School in Keizer and selected Richard Walsh to serve as the party's candidate in Oregon Senate District 11.

The party invited the 47 precinct representatives to the Keizer meeting to vote on the selection. Each applicant for the candidacy was given a few minutes to speak prior to the vote.

Other applicants for the candidacy, which was vacated when Woodburn Mayor Eric Swenson elected to run for mayor in lieu of the senate, were State Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon of Woodburn and Anthony Rosilez of Keizer. Swenson defeated Walsh and Rosilez in the primary.

The mayor supported Alonso Leon, who ran in the Oregon Congressional 6th District race during the primary, to fill his candidacy for the District 11 race. She was the only applicant with legislative experience and the only one currently active as an elected official.

Democratic Party of Oregon Chair KC Hanson said: "As Democrats, we're excited to come together behind Rich and defeat Kim Thatcher in November."

Thatcher, of Keizer, is also an experienced legislative veteran and a legislative incumbent, currently serving District 13. She served as a state representative from 2005-14 and as state senator since 2014. Boundary changes to District 13 placed Thatcher in District 11, which is being vacated by the retirement of longtime Democratic lawmaker Peter Courtney.

Alonso Leon has served three terms as the representative in Oregon House District 22, which includes Woodburn, Gervais, Brooks and much of north Salem, all within the Senate District 11 boundaries of this race. She served on the Woodburn City Council from 2013-16.

Walsh served on the Keizer City Council from 2000-11.

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