Replacing Senator Brad Avakian

Last month, Dan Gardner resigned as the state labor commissioner.

The next day, Governor Kulongoski appointed State Senator Brad Avakian to the labor post.

Effective April 7th, Senator Avakian resigned his State Senate seat. In Oregon, when a legislative seat opens up, the legislator's political party - through that district's precinct commitee people - nominates three candidates for the seat. Then, the County Commission(s) that overlap with the legislative district select from among the three.

For the Avakian seat, the DPO has just announced the timeline and process - culminating in a nomination convention on April 26th at PCC Rock Creek (Building 7, Room 121.)

Portland - State Sen. Brad Avakian, (D-17), has announced his resignation from that position effective April 7, 2008. A Nominating Convention will be convened by Washington County Chair, Lupita Maurer, pursuant to ORS 171.060 and DPO Bylaws, Article 12 (1)(D).

All current Senate District 17 Precinct Committeepersons are eligible to cast nominating votes. Committeepersons must be physically present to cast their votes and may not designate a substitute.

In order to qualify to serve, you must be a registered Democrat who has lived within Senate District 17 for at least 185 days prior to the Nominating Convention. If you wish to apply for nomination, you must fill out the SEL 145a form attached and return it to the Democratic Party of Oregon by 5:00PM on April 25th.

Contact the DPO for more info.

Senator Avakian wasn't due for an election in 2008, but his replacement will have to stand for election this year (and again in 2010.)


  • (Show?)

    Since this is in my neck of the woods, I think I can say a couple of things here. (Don't worry - none of this is confidential.)

    First, a convention like this needs to recommend at least three Democrats to the County Commissioners. PCPs can recommend more if they wish, but if they recommend fewer, the county commissioners can nominate anyone they wish (of any party) to fill the slate up to three. Once the slate is filled, the Commissioners must choose between the candidates on it.

    Second, the rules above mean that even if there is a prohibitive favorite, the nominating convention still needs at least two other Democrats to run if we want the Commissioners to choose between Democrats.

    Third, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici has announced her candidacy for Brad's position. She is a highly regarded Democrat who represents a House District in Senate District 17.

    Fourth, Labor Commissioner Avakian has publicly endorsed Rep. Bonamici to replace him as State Senator. He did so at the last Washington County Central Committee meeting.

  • (Show?)

    I agree with Steven that it is very important that we get at least three candidates for this position. There's nothing like losing a seat to the Republicans just because we didn't nominate enough people.

  • KJ (unverified)

    To my knowledge at least three PCP's from Multnomah county have announced their interest in the appointment to SD 17. There may be others on the Washington county side of the district. I don't think we will have any difficulty fielding a slate of 3-5 for the county commissioners to pick from.

  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (unverified)

    Thank you to BlueOregon for explaining the replacement process. After the PCPs meet on April 26th, the commissioners from Washington and Multnomah County will meet on April 30th, also at PCC Rock Creek. For those of you counting, based on the number of electors residing in the district each Washington County Commissioner will have 10.6 votes and each Multnomah County Commissioner will have 4 votes.

    House District 34, which I represent, is half of Senate District 17. The other half is HD 33, which is Mitch Greenlick’s district. I decided to seek appointment to the Senate after Rep. Greenlick assured me that he wants to stay in the House.

    I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the 2007 legislative session, which many say was one of the most productive and progressive in decades. I have served on the House Judiciary, Consumer Protection, and Health Care committees, and because of my passion for public education, I also closely follow education issues. In 2007 I co-sponsored successful bills to increase civics education and to provide a funding source for school capital construction and maintenance. As the Vice-Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee, I helped establish strict restrictions on payday lenders and stronger protections for victims of identity theft. In February of 2008, I helped to write and then took the lead in passing the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Protection Act, which stops foreclosure rescue scams and provides better protections for families in Oregon facing foreclosure.

    During the interim, I have been serving on the Governor’s Mortgage Lending Workgroup and chairing a workgroup on pesticide use in and around schools, where we have developed several consensus recommendations for the 2009 legislative session that will reduce the exposure of Oregon’s children to pesticides.

    I now want to take my skills and experience to the Senate. Taking over a Senate seat mid-term requires experience – the kind of experience I have. I have served my constituents well in the Legislature, and at the end of the 2007 session I was named Willamette Week’s Rookie of the Year. I have an excellent working relationship with Rep. Greenlick, as well as with my other House and Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle. And I am prepared to run a strong campaign in November. In 2006, I won election to the House with more than 61% of the votes in a contested race against a well-funded opponent.

    Both Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and Rep. Greenlick have endorsed me for the Senate appointment, and so have Senator Ginny Burdick and Representatives Mary Nolan, Diane Rosenbaum, and Jackie Dingfelder. I received 100% ratings from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon, and, before the Senate opening, earned early endorsements in my House reelection campaign from Governor Kulongoski, Attorney General Hardy Myers, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon, the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon Education Association, and more. See my campaign website for a list.

    BlueOregon readers -- I invite you to contact me (click my website) if you have any questions.

  • sonsayx (unverified)

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  • Lupita Maurer (unverified)

    Steve is right, but it is a minimum of 3 candidates and a maximum of 5. So far, we have 3 applicants, so we are ok.

    Lupita Maurer Washington County Democratic Central Committee Chair

  • (Show?)
    <h2>Suzanne Bonamici is truly the most qualified and the best possible candidate to replace Brad Avakian in the Senate for the remainder of his term and for reelection to the Senate when that term expires. I've known her since well before she ran for the state House. The job she's done in the House has been phenomenal and I know she'll do wonderfully well in the Senate.</h2>
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