Debate, but no endorsement

ONE OF THESE THREE WILL LIKELY BE OREGON'S NEXT SECRETARY OF STATE. Brad Avakian, Richard Devlin, and Val Hoyle await the call to take the stage for a debate over who should have labor’s endorsement.
ONE OF THESE THREE WILL LIKELY BE OREGON’S NEXT SECRETARY OF STATE. Brad Avakian, Richard Devlin, and Val Hoyle await the call to take the stage for a debate over who should have labor’s endorsement.

SEASIDE — Democrats Brad Avakian, Richard Devlin, and Val Hoyle took the stage for an hour of good-natured debate Oct. 24 at the Oregon AFL-CIO convention. They’re running for Oregon Secretary of State (SOS), the office responsible for elections and state audits.

Devlin, a state senator from Tualatin, presented himself as a dedicated public servant who gets the details right, and emphasized the SOS’ role as

“auditor in chief,” making sure state government works.

Hoyle, a Eugene state rep and former House majority leader, told the story of her firefighter dad, a union leader, who stood with locked-out factory workers even when mounted police made the picket line too risky for his daughter.

Avakian touted his record as Oregon labor commissioner, saying his entire career has been dedicated to working families.

SOS sits on the state land use board, and candidates were asked about the proposed Jordan Cove LNG project in Coos Bay. Devlin and Avakian said they wouldn’t stand in the way; Hoyle said she absolutely supports it.

The primary is still six months away, and most large affiliates haven’t yet interviewed the candidates — all three of whom have had solid ties to labor over the years. In the end, delegates took no action, and instead referred the question of endorsement to the first AFL-CIO E-Board meeting of 2016.

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