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Voters guide to Oregon primary: A look at the top races

Ballots will be mailed out starting April 29. Here's your guide to the big races, and a look at how, where and when to vote.

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.

RELATED: Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams files to run for city council against Chloe Eudaly

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.

See the full list of mayor and commissioner candidates here

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.

Credit: Oregon Legislature
Oregon's 2nd Congressional District

RELATED: Republican Knute Buehler announces 2020 run for Congress

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.

See the full list of Oregon congressional candidates here

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.

RELATED: Oregon Sec. of State Dennis Richardson dies after cancer battle

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.

See the full list of Secretary of State candidates here

Important dates

  • April 22-24: Voters’ pamphlets delivered
  • April 28: Voter registration deadline
  • April 29: First ballots are mailed
  • May 19: Primary Election Day

More voter resources

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