Under Oregon law, the Governor sets the date of a special election to fill a vacant seat in Congress. Based on the date of that election (before or after 80 days), party nominees are either chosen by party convention (short timeline) or through special elections (long timeline).
With Congressman Wu’s announcement this morning that he intends to resign after the debt-ceiling issue is resolved, many Oregonians – particularly those in the 1st Congressional District – want to know what will happen with his seat. I want a fair process that will include as many Oregonians as possible to ensure that the people in the 1st Congressional District have adequate representation in Washington, DC. But to do that, I must first have Congressman Wu’s official resignation, which I have not yet received. Once that is in hand, I intend to call for a special election to elect a Representative to Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, with sufficient time for the Secretary of State to call a special primary.
This isn't much of a surprise. As I noted yesterday, Governor Kitzhaber has been in this position twice before - and both times he opted for a special primary election.
We don't have a date yet, but we know it's going to be at least 80 days out from whenever Wu makes his resignation official.