PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon’s primary election is still scheduled for May 19, despite other states postponing their primaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s thanks to Oregon’s mail-in voting system, which does not require large groups to gather at polling sites.
Here’s a look at some of the big races across the state:
Portland mayor & city commissioners
Eighteen candidates will appear on the ballot next to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s name, according to the city auditor.
Four candidates faced off in a virtual debate Monday. Sarah Iannarone, Teressa Raiford and Ozzie Gonzalez took on Wheeler in the debate hosted by the City Club of Portland.
The crowded field also extends to the open city commissioner positions. The city auditor lists a total of 35 candidates for commissioner seats.
Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams is running against Commissioner Chloe Eudaly for Commissioner Position No. 4. Commissioner Amanda Fritz is not running for re-election, so Commissioner Position No. 1 is up for grabs.
A special election is also being held the same day as the primary to fill the late Nick Fish's seat for Commissioner Position No. 2. Fish died in January after a battle with cancer.
2nd Congressional District
Oregon’s only Republican in Congress, Rep. Greg Walden, announced plans last October to retire. Seven Republicans and four Democrats are running to fill his seat in the 2nd Congressional District, which covers all of Eastern Oregon and the Medford area.
The race includes some big names like Knute Buehler, a former state representative from Bend who ran for governor against Gov. Kate Brown in 2018. Cliff Bentz and Jason Atkinson, both former Republican state senators, are also running.
Secretary of State
The second-highest ranking position in Oregon is an open race. Republican Dennis Richardson died in office in 2019 after a battle with brain cancer. His replacement, Bev Clarno, is not running for re-election.
Three state senators are on the ballot: Sen. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer), Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) and Sen. Shemia Fagan (D-Portland).
Jamie McLeod-Skinner is also running as a Democrat. She ran for Congress against Rep. Walden in 2018.
- April 22-24: Voters’ pamphlets delivered
- April 28: Voter registration deadline
- April 29: First ballots are mailed
- May 19: Primary Election Day