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Monday, March 30, 2020

OR Primary Staying on Schedule for May 19 . . . So Far

By Peter Toll, Chair, Campaign Committee
With ballots scheduled to go out starting April 29th, all signs point to continuing with Oregon’s May 19 Oregon primary election.  Consider:
  • The US Postal Service is considered an “essential service” which means the USPS folks, including many of our union friends there, are pressing ahead with service until they can’t come to work anymore.  (And we’re glad that all-mail voting has been our Oregon way of life since Bill Bradbury was Secretary of State).
  • Down-ballot races demand we all pay close attention and support County Chair Jim Bernard and Commissioners Ken Humberston and Martha Schrader.  Two Tea Party characters, led by avenging Tootie Smith, who wants her old job back, are not lounging around eating bonbons.

  • All of our incumbents—including eight State Reps. and two State Senators (Ginny Burdick and Kathleen Taylor) are on the ballot, and so are six Democratic challengers: Jamie Morrison (State Rep. HD18,) Dacia Grayber and Keenan Casavant (HD35, open seat), Tessah Danel and Julia Hill (State Rep. HD39 against House Minority Leader Christine Drazan), and State Senate candidate Jim Hinsvark (SD9).  His opponent is Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton.
  • Secretary of State Democratic candidates are Sen. Shemia Fagan (Happy Valley), Sen. Mark Hass (Beaverton), and former Congressional candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner (Redmond).  Cameron Smith, who withdrew, has been named Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Bev Clarno.  He replaces former GOP Rep. Richard Vial, who departed his Deputy Secretary position under a cloud.
  • Both of Clackamas County’s Members of Congress are challenged in the primary.  Stirring up the most dust is Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba against Rep. Kurt Schrader in the seven-county 5th Congressional District.  Rep. Earl Blumenauer has four opponents: Charles Barnett, Matthew Davis, Albert Lee, and Dane Wilcox.
  • Although the official race for the Democratic presidential nominee is down to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, Secretary of State Bev Clarno says Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren will remain on the Oregon ballot as their withdrawals came too late for Bev’s press time.
  • Oregon will be sending 61 pledged delegates (apportioned by the ballot response) to the National Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, WI.  We also have 14 superdelegates, state-wide office holders such as Gov. Kate Brown and Sen. Jeff Merkley, who are unpledged.  
  • Rep. Courtney Neron, D-Wilsonville, informs us the legislation authorizing the state to pay for mail-in ballot postage will be in effect this election.  Postage to mail your ballots to the County Clerk will be paid. (It’s unclear as to what form this takes; probably covered on the provided return envelope.)
  • District Attorney John Foote is not running for re-election and his Chief Deputy, John Wentworth, is the only person on the ballot.  He has been endorsed by your county Democratic Party.
  • Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, a Democrat, is also not running for re-election and four people want that job. Two are Republicans and two are non-affiliated.  Your county party has not endorsed in this race.
Democrats still outnumber Republicans in our county.  We have 96,241 registered Democrats, while non-affiliated voters rank second, with 91,347; the GOP has 81,491.  Minor parties add up to some 17,000 more. A typical 40 percent primary turnout would generate about 114,431. Those numbers will change after the primary registration deadline of April 28.