At a July 23 statewide meeting, the union-backed Oregon Working Families Party (OWFP) decided to field its own candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden: Shanti Lewallen, a longshore worker with International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 8 who’s now also an attorney representing workers in wage theft and discrimination cases. OWFP usually grants or withholds endorsement of major party candidates, but it chose to challenge Wyden because of his support for fast-tracking trade agreements like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Thanks to a vigorous voter registration drive, the party will still have a ballot line for Lewallen to run on. State law requires third parties to have at least 10,825 registered voters by Aug. 10 to run in November. OWFP dropped below that when thousands switched to Democrat to vote for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, but OWFP’s canvass and online efforts brought many back in after the primary.
[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Lewallen as a “former” longshore worker. He continues to work in the trade.]