Most labor-backed candidates win office in Oregon special election


Two-thirds of the labor-backed candidates in Oregon’s May 19 special election won their races, including three of the four graduates of the Oregon Labor Candidates School (OCLS) who sought office. The election was for nonpartisan school board and local district offices. Voter turnout ranged from 16 to 20 percent.

Voters also approved one labor-endorsed ballot measure: a $125 million capital bond for Reynolds School District, which passed narrowly with 52 percent of the vote. Measure 26-164 had the support of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC).

Here’s how labor-backed candidates (in bold type) fared:


Multnomah County

Multnomah Education Service District: Stephen Marc Beaudoin won with 55 percent of the vote in a three-way race for MESD position 6 at large, and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) member Siobhan Burke, an OCLS graduate, scored a lopsided win for 74 percent of the votes for Position 7, Zone 3.

Portland Community College Board: PCC instructor (and OCLS-grad) Michael Sonnleitner won with 38 percent in a three-way race. Sonnleitner is an AFT member.

Portland Public Schools Board: Julie Esparza Brown and Paul Anthony won with the backing of Portland Association of Teachers, but labor endorsements didn’t save incumbent Bobbie Regan, who fell short with 41 percent of vote to 44 percent for challenger Amy Kohnstamm.

Corbett School District: Lacey Auble, backed by the Corbett Education Association, won with 58 percent.


Clackamas County

North Clackamas School District Board: Trisha Claxton, Lee Merrick, and Steven Schroedl won office. Merrick and Schroedl were unopposed.

City of West Linn Mayor: Thomas Frank, backed by NOLC and UFCW Local 555, lost with 45 percent in a race to fill an unexpired term.


Washington County

Hillsboro School District: Kim Strelchun and Lisa Allen won, but AFT member Jaime Rodriguez, an OLCS grad, lost his second attempt at a school board seat, with 43 percent of the vote in a challenge to an incumbent.

Beaverton School District: Becky Tymchuk, backed by the Beaverton Education Association, won with 52 percent of vote in a three-way race. Melissa Potter, also backed by the Beaverton Education Association lost.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue: Randy Lauer and Brian Clopton, backed by the fire fighters union, won. Clopton was unopposed.


Columbia County

Port of St. Helens: Incumbent Mike Avent — endorsed by NOLC, the Building Trades Council, and UFCW Local 555 — won with 45 percent in three-way race, defeating a challenge from ILWU Local 8 president Mike Stanton and one other. But Robert Keyser placed second in a three-way race, with 40 percent of vote; and Colleen DeShazer got 24 percent, placing a distant second in a four way race.


Lane County

Eugene School Board: Eileen Nittler and Mary Walston won, but Kevin Cronin came in second in a three-way race.

Oakridge School District: Oregon School Employees Association member Susan Hardy, an OLCS graduate, won by just four votes — 376-372.


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