Kitzhaber: OR-1 will have primary election, not party convention nominations

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

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).

Governor Kitzhaber:

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.

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    I believe that it will also make for stronger candidates in the general.

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    Good call, Governor.

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    The Governor wants to include as many Oregonians as possible in this special election. So what is the State's position on allowing minor party candidates into the special election?

    Will the Sec. Of State and the governor and the Attorney general stand up for the rights of minor party members and candidates and allow them on the special election ballot? Or are special elections preserved for special parties.

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      Seriously? Of course there will be minor party candidates in the special election. Why would the rules be any different than any other election?

      The Associated Press quotes the Elections Division:

      Other candidates (minor political party, individual electors, assembly of electors) could file by certificate of nomination. The deadline for filing the certificate of nomination is the 61st day before the date of the special election called by the Governor or the Secretary of State may adopt a rule specifying the period within which a certificate of nomination must be filed.

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        Yup, and when Wyden won the special Senate election back in 1996, there were 4 other minor party candidates on the ballot besides him and Smith.

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        There was a comment elsewhere that it was a possibility. (If you look at the statute you cited, there is no mention of minor party candidates on special election) Right after I posted that, I also went to the SOS site for the 1996 election results and saw minor parties participated. So, that should settle it.

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