Fahey will run for Oregon labor commissioner

PORTLAND, OR -- Mike Fahey, executive secretary-treasurer of the Portland Metal Trades Council, announced this week that he will run for commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

At the same time, Ray Baker, financial secretary of Oregon City Carpenters Local 1388, has withdrawn as a candidate for that position.

Both announcements came at the weekly meeting of the Columbia-Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council Dec. 2. Fahey held a press conference Dec. 3, after this issue of the Northwest Labor Press went to press.

Fahey, a Democrat who recently completed his second term in the Oregon House of Representatives from District 17 in north Portland, said he contacted the current labor commissioner, Jack Roberts, to inform him of his intention to run for the non-partisan post.

Fahey has been considering the race for labor commissioner for several months, but was deterred because he didn't want to run against Baker. Both are members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

After several meetings with Fahey, Baker decided on Dec. 1 to withdraw from the race. "I'm convinced that Mike can raise money better than I can," he said. "He is better known in the state with his two terms in the House. I'm behind him 100 percent."

Baker has been out raising campaign money, but said he will turn over several thousand dollars to Fahey after paying off printing bills.

Fahey said he will need to raise $300,000 to $400,000 for the campaign.

Over the weekend Fahey was on the phone drumming up support from his House colleagues. "Most of the House Democrats said they will support me and help me campaign in their districts," he told the building trades.

Come Jan. 1, Fahey plans to load up a recreational vehicle with campaign signs and tour the state. He wants to meet with all local unions in the state to get a feel for their concerns "and see what's out there."

It's still uncertain whether Roberts, a Republican from Eugene, will run for re-election.

Roberts spent most of his first term trying to abolish the agency, which administers and enforces laws on wages and working conditions, apprenticeship training and fights discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

He recently expressed interest in the vacant post for superintendent of public instruction.

"Whatever he decides to do, I will run a clean campaign," said Fahey, who sat on the House Labor Committee. "Jack has left a record that can be challenged."


Dec. 5, 1997 issue

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