A guide to Oregon’s May 2018 primary

Oregon voters have a lot of choices. This union-focused ballot guide tries to keep it simple: Only candidates who have opponents in the primary are listed.
If a name is in bold below, they’re backed by at least one labor organization. You’ll see that unions often didn’t agree: In some races, as many as three competing candidates got support from at least one union.
Following each name is a list of union endorsers and a link to the campaign web site, if they have one. [We list all acronyms in a legend at the bottom.]
And there’s more. The Labor Press talked with would-be labor commissioner Val Hoyle and with five union-endorsed candidates for Portland City Council — about why they’re running, what they want to do in office, and their union ties. See the links to those interviews below.
DON’T FORGET: Ballots must be received (not postmarked) by May 15!


Oregon Senate
Oregon House

Oregon Labor Commissioner
Oregon Supreme Court
Oregon Court of Appeals


Multnomah County
Clackamas County
Washington County
Clatsop County
Columbia County
Coos County
Lane County

Beaverton School District

City of Portland
City of Salem

Val Hoyle for Oregon Labor Commissioner

Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council, Position 3
Loretta Smith for Portland City Council, Position 3
Andrea Valderrama for Portland City Council, Position 3

Nick Fish for Portland City Council, Position 2
Julia DeGraw for Portland City Council, Position 2


Only voters registered as Democrats can choose who the party will run in November.


Congressional District 1 (NW Oregon)
  • Suzanne Bonamici, a three-term incumbent, has a 95 percent lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO. AFL-CIO, AFT, IAFF, IAM, IBT, IUPAT, OEA, ONA  bonamiciforcongress.com
Congressional District 2 (E Oregon)
  • Eric Burnette was a union member in the merchant marine. He’s for Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and re-unionizing the American workforce. AFL-CIO, IBT, UFCW 555, WFP (dual) burnette4congress.org
  • Jamie McLeod Skinner is a city planner, a former AFSCME member and a former city councilor in Santa Clara, Calif. She’s for a tiered minimum wage like Oregon’s OEA, WFP (dual) jamiefororegon.com
Congressional District 3 (E Portland)
  • Earl Blumenauer, an 11-term incumbent, has a 94 percent lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO. AFL-CIO, AFT, OEA  earlblumenauer.com
Congressional District 4 (SW Oregon)
Congressional District 5 (W Oregon)
  • Kurt Schrader, an 11-term incumbent, has an 83 percent lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO. OEA, UFCW 555  kurtschrader.com


  • Kate Brown is seeking a second elected term. She signed into law a minimum wage increase, a paid sick day mandate, and a fair scheduling law. AFL-CIO, AFT, OEA, ONA  katebrownfororegon.com


Senate District 3 (Medford)
  • Athena Goldberg, a clinical social worker, is in a four-way primary to challenge Republican Alan DeBoer for the seat Alan Bates used to hold. Oregon AFL-CIO considers this a priority race. AFL-CIO, AFT, OSEA, UFCW 555  athenagoldberg.com
Senate District 11 (Salem)
  • Peter Courtney, the incumbent, Senate President, has been in the Capitol since 1999. AFSCME, AFT, OEA, UFCW  votepetercourtney.com
Senate District 13 (Keizer)
  • Sarah Grider, an educational assistant at Newberg School District is president of  OSEA Local 17 at Newberg High School. Her husband Jeff is treasurer of AFT-Oregon. AFT
  • Paul Diller is a law professor at Willamette University UFCW 555 pauldiller.org
Senate District 24 (East Portland)
  • Shemia Fagan, a civil rights attorney and former state rep, is challenging incumbent Rod Monroe because he opposed bills to allow rent control and end no-cause eviction.  AFSCME, AFT, OEA, OFNHP, SEIU 49, SEIU 503 faganfororegon.com
  • Rod Monroe, the incumbent, has been in the legislature since 1977. He’s a supporter of single payer healthcare. OBTC, IAFF, IBEW 48 rodmonroe.com


House District 9 (Coos Bay)
  • Caddy McKeown may be the least labor-friendly Democrat in the House, and voted against minimum wage and other labor priorities. But she’s been a reliable backer of funding for K-12 and infrastructure. OBTC, OEA caddymckeown.com
House District 11 (Eugene)
  • Kimberly Koops is a law clerk for SEIU Local 503 and a former staffer for Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. AFSCME, AFT, SEIU (dual), UFCW 555, WFP, Eugene Education Association (dual) kimberlyfororegon.com
  • Marty Wilde is executive director of a professional organization for doctors in Lane County, a colonel in the Oregon Air National Guard, and former deputy district attorney. OBTC, IBT, SEIU (dual), Eugene Education Association (dual) wildefororegon.com

House District 18 (Silverton)
  • Barry Shapiro, a photography teacher, wants to take on Republican incumbent Rick Lewis UFCW 555
House District 32 (North Coast)
  • Tiffiny Mitchell is a child welfare case manager coordinator. AFSCME, AFT, OEA, SEIU 503, SEIU 49  tiffinyfororegon.com
  • Tim Josi is a Tillamook County commissioner and former state rep. OBTC, UFCW 555 timjosi.org
House District 45 (NE Portland)
  • Barbara Smith Warner incumbent, is a former labor liaison for Ron Wyden and onetime staff person at the Letter Carriers union. She’s being challenged by Jamie Woods, a PSU economics professor and union negotiator. AFL-CIO, OBTC, AFSCME, AFT, IAFF, OEA, PAT, UFCW 555 barbarasmithwarner.com
House District 52 (Hood River)
  • Anna Williams college professor AFSCME, AFT (dual), OEA, SEIU 503 (dual), SEIU 49 (dual)  friendsofannawilliams.com
  • Aurora del Val instructor at PCC and Clackamas Community College AFT (dual), SEIU 503 (dual), SEIU 49 (dual) auroradelval.com


For non-partisan offices like county commission and city council, any registered voter can cast a ballot in the primary. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent, the top  two vote-getters face off in the November general election.


  • Val Hoyle is a former Oregon House Majority Leader and Democratic state rep from Eugene. She gave up her seat in 2016 to run for secretary of state. Getting her elected as labor commissioner is a top priority for organized labor, because the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) enforces wage and hour and civil rights laws, sets the prevailing wage on public construction projects, and oversees apprenticeship training standards. Union County Commissioner Jack Howard is also on the ballot but didn’t even submit a Voters’ Pamphlet statement. So her chief opponent is Tualatin mayor and insurance agent Lou Ogden — a Republican who thinks the Bureau of Labor and Industries has leaned too much toward labor and not enough toward industry. On April 23, four deep-pocketed Republican funders dumped $100,000 into his campaign, which began airing television attack ads against Hoyle a week later.   AFL-CIO, OBTC, AFT, CWA, BAC, IAFF, IAM, IBEW 48, ILWU,  IUOE 701, IUPAT, IW, LiUNA, OEA, ONA, OPCMIA 82, OSEA, SEIU 503, SEIU 49, SMART, UA 290, UBC, UFCW 555  valhoyle.com


Judge, Position 3
  • Meagan Flynn is a former appeals court judge and public defender who represented workers in workers comp cases. Appointed in 2017 by Governor Brown to fill a vacancy, she’s being challenged by state securities attorney Van Pounds, who’s running to protest the practice of judges resigning mid-term so governors can appoint their replacement, who then runs usually unopposed as incumbent. IAM, OEA  judgemeaganflynn.com


Judge, Position 10
  • Rex Armstrong, the incumbent, was once a chokersetter and warehouse worker. OEA


  • Lynn Peterson, a former Clackamas County commissioner and Washington transportation executive, is running to succeed Tom Hughes with the backing of virtually every union  NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME, AFSCME 3580, ATU, IAFF 43, IAFF 1660, IBEW 48, IBT, IBU, ILWU,  IUOE 701, IUPAT, IW, LiUNA, PAT, PTE, UA 290, UBC, UFCW 555, WFP  electlynnpeterson.com
Councilor Position 2 (S/SE)
  • Christine Lewis is legislative director at the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and formerly worked for House Speaker Tina Kotek and former Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey. NOLC, CPBTC, IBEW 48, PAT, UFCW 555, WFP christinelewisformetro.com
  • Joe Buck is a Lake Oswego City Council member, owner of the Babica Hen Cafe in Lake Oswego and Dundee, and former board member of the local chamber of commerce. IBT, IAFF 1159, IAFF 1660 JoeBuckforMetro.com
  • Betty Dominguez is a housing advocate at Home Forward, past president of Greater Portland Habitat for Humanity, and is the incumbent, having won appointment to fill the unexpired term of Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette in a 4-2 vote of Metro Council. AFSCME, AFSCME 3580 bettyformetro.com
Councilor District 4 (W, Hillsboro)
  • Dana Carstensen is a shop steward with Laborers Local 483 at the Oregon Zoo, and also works as a hazardous waste technician represented by AFSCME Local 3580. He’s a graduate of Oregon Labor Candidate School. CPBTC, LiUNA, LiUNA 483, LiUNA 737, PCCFFAP, PCCFCE danacarstensen.com
  • Juan Gonzalez is a manager at Centro Cultural de Washington County. AFSCME, AFSCME 3580, IAFF 1660, IBEW 48, IBT, UFCW 555, WFP gonzalez4oregon.com


  • Deborah Kafoury, the incumbent, is being challenged by three little-known candidates. Since she won election as chair in 2014, she led approval of a $15-an-hour minimum wage for County workers, including temporary and on-call workers, and she helped bring about all-union project labor agreements for major capital projects. NOLC, AFSCME 88, IAFF 43, IBEW 48,ONA, SEIU 49, WFP deborahkafoury.com
  • Jennifer McGuirk is a senior performance auditor at Multnomah County NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME, AFSCME 88  jennifermcguirk.com
Commission, District  2
  • Susheela Jayapal is a longtime board member at educational and arts foundations. As an attorney for Adidas in the late 1990s, she developed the company’s labor standards for factories in Southeast Asia. She’s also the older sister of Seattle Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. She’s in field of four seeking the seat currently held by Loretta Smith, who’s term-limited.  NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME, AFSCME 88, BAC, IBEW 48, IBT, IUPAT 5, IW, LiUNA, ONA, PAT, PCCFFAP, PCCFCE, SEIU 49, SEIU 503, UBC, UFCW 555  susheelaformultco.com


Commission, Position 2
  • Paul Savas, the incumbent, is being challenged by two little-known candidates. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME, AFSCME 350, IAFF 1159, IAFF 1660, IBEW 48, IBT, IW, UFCW 555 electpaulsavas.com
  • Pamela White, communications director for Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board, is one of two candidates challenging incumbent Sherry Hall, a Republican. Hall’s 15-year tenure has been marked by partisanship, multiple expensive screw-ups on ballots and voters guides, and a ballot-tampering case in which a county elections worker went to jail for filling in ballots for Republican candidates  NOLC, CWA, IBEW 48, IBT, UFCW 555, WFP pamela4clerk.com


  • Kathryn Harrington is a current Metro Council member. NOLC, AFSCME, AWPPW, IBT, ILWU, IW, five OEA locals, SEIU 49, SEIU 503, UBC, UFCW 555, WFP  kathrynforourcounty.com
  • Ryan Deckert is a former Democratic state rep who went on to head Oregon Business Association, a business lobby group. OBTC, IBEW 48, IUOE 701, IUPAT, IW, LiUNA, UA 290  ryandeckert.com
Commissioner, District 2
  • Greg Malinowski, the incumbent seeking a third term, is a farmer and former technology manufacturing worker. NOLC, IAFF 1660, OEA, SEIU, UFCW 555, WFP gregmalinowski.com
  • Pam Treece, a former PacifiCorp executive, is executive director of Westside Economic Alliance, a business advocacy group.  IBEW 48, IBEW 125, LiUNA, UBC pamforwashingtoncounty.com
Commissioner, District 4
  • Kimberly Culbertson, a longtime activist, is running against Hillsboro mayor Jerry Willey, and focusing her campaign on homelessness and housing affordability.  NOLC, CPBTC, IAFF 1660, Insulators, IW, five OEA locals, PCCFFAP/PCCFCE, UFCW 555 WFP kimberlyculbertson.org
District Attorney
  • Max Wall, a defense attorney and former Polk County deputy district attorney, is running against prosecutor Kevin Barton for an open seat. Wall is calling for increased use of special courts that can divert offenders to supervised treatment for addition and mental health issues as an alternative to jail. UFCW 555, PCCFFAP, WFP  maxwallforda.com


Commissioner, Position 5
  • Lianne Thompson, the incumbent, is a former life coach and community college instructor. UFCW 555


Commissioner, Position 2
  • Henry Heimuller, the incumbent, is a former paramedic and transit coordinator NOLC, UFCW 555 henryheimuller.com


Commissioner, Position 2
  • John Sweet, the incumbent, is a supporter of the proposed Jordan Cove liquid natural gas terminal. UFCW 555
Commissioner, Position 3
  • Melissa Cribbins, incumbent, is a former attorney for the Coquille tribe and a supporter of the proposed Jordan Cove liquid natural gas terminal. UFCW 555


Commissioner, Position 1 (West)
  • Nora Kent, a Lane Community College instructor and OEA member, is one of two candidates challenging incumbent Jay Bozievich. The other is Beverly Hills, an AFSCME-represented office assistant and steward at the County Behavioral Health. AFSCME 2831, Eugene Education Association, SEIU 503, SEIU 49, UFCW 555, WFP  norakent.org
  • Jay Bozievich, the incumbent, led passage of three 2014 ordinances that aimed to reverse a paid sick leave ordinance passed by the City of Eugene. IBEW 280, Lane County Public Works Association Local 626 jaybozievich.com
Commissioner, Position 2 (Springfield)
  • Joe Berney, the former owner of a union-signatory clean energy contractor, is getting considerable union support for his challenge to incumbent Sid Leiken. AFSCME holds Leiken responsible for an acrimonious 2017 strike by county employees. AFSCME 2871, IBEW 280, IBEW 48, IBT, Insulators, IUPAT, IW, OEA, SEIU 503, SEIU 49, UA 290, UFCW 555, WFP  joeberney.com
  • Sid Leiken, a two-term incumbent, is a former Springfield mayor and the former owner of a chain  of dry cleaners.  IAFF 851  sidleiken.com
Commissioner, Position 5 (East)
  • Heather Buch, the owner of a property management company, is in a six-way race with former Cottage Grove mayor (GOP) Gary Williams, who is the incumbent because he was picked to fill Faye Stewart’s term. Buch walked the picket line in support of striking County workers.  Lane County CLC, Lane Coos Curry Douglas Building Trades, AFSCME 2831, IBEW 280, IBT, IW, SEIU 503 (dual), SEIU 49 (dual), UBC 271, UFCW 555, WFP heatherbuch.com
  • Kevin Matthews, a farmer, also walked the picket line with striking County workers. SEIU 503 (dual), SEIU 49 (dual), friendsofkevinmatthews.org


Measure 34-284
  • SUPPORT This measure renews a five-year local option property tax levy that supports 300 teaching positions and protects class sizes IBEW 48, OSEA yesforbeavertonschools.com


Commission, Position 2
  • Nick Fish, the incumbent, has been in City Council since 2008. Before that he represented unions as an attorney in New York. On the council, he supported the paid sick leave ordinance and helped implement community benefits agreements on city construction projects, which put union members to work and gave opportunities to women and minorities. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME 189, IAFF 43, IBEW 48, IBT, IUPAT, LiUNA, LiUNA 483, PAT, PTE 17, SEIU 49, SEIU 503, UBC, UFCW 555 nickfishforportland.com  [MORE: See an extended Q&A with Fish here.]
  • Julia DeGraw is a longtime organizer against Nestle and the NAFTA-modeled Trans-Pacific Partnership. She wants to replace Portland’s city-wide elections for City Council with district-based elections. She’s also calling for municipal broadband, and for the creation of a wage theft and worksite abuse hotline. AWPPW, PCCFFAP, PCCFCE julia4pdx.com [MORE: See an extended Q&A with DeGraw here.]
Commission, Position 3
  • Jo Ann Hardesty was a Democratic state representative from 1995 to 2000 (under her then-name Jo Ann Bowman) and got high marks from labor. She also served as executive director of the nonprofit Oregon Action, as an aide to Multnomah County Commissioner Beverly Stein, and as president of the NAACP. In 2002, she looked at conditions of nonunion janitors as a panelist on Portland Jobs with Justice’s Workers Rights Board. She’s also crossed labor on occasion: In 2003 she testified at City Council against a “responsible contractor” ordinance to track prevailing wage violations among city contractors, because it provided no assurance that people of color or women would be hired by the city for public works projects. Her campaign has focused on housing affordability, homelessness, and police accountability. ATU 757, ILWU, PAT, PCCFFAP/PCCFCE (dual) joannforportland.com  [MORE: See an extended Q&A with Hardesty here.]
  • Loretta Smith, a former longtime field representative for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, has been Multnomah County Commissioner for the last eight years. There she’s proudest of having won increased funding for summer jobs programs for minority youth. She has personal ties to several labor figures: She serves on a nonprofit workforce board alongside Northwest Oregon Labor Council executive secretary-treasurer Bob Tackett, and her chief of staff at the county is former Bureau of Labor and Industries legislative director Elizabeth Mazzara-Myers, who’s married to Columbia-Pacific Building Trades Council executive secretary-treasurer Willy Myers. Campaigning for City Council, Smith is calling for all-union project labor agreements on all City construction projects. NOLC, CPBTC, Boilermakers 104, IBEW 48, Insulators 36, IUPAT, IW 29, OPCMIA 82, OPCMIA 555, Roofers 49, UA 290, UFCW 555  lorettaforportland.com [MORE: See an extended Q&A with Smith here.]
  • Andrea Valderrama is a policy adviser to Mayor  Ted Wheeler and former aide to commissioner Steve Novick. She’s also a member of the David Douglas School Board.  AFSCME 189, PCCFFAP/PCCFCE (dual) valderrama4pdx.com [MORE: See an extended Q&A with Valderrama here.]
Portland Children’s Levy
  • SUPPORT renews an existing property tax levy that funds child abuse prevention, early education programs, hunger relief, mentoring, and programs for foster kids. IAFF Local 43, IBEW 48, PAT, UFCW 555  voteyesforportlandschildren.org


City Council, Ward 8
  • Micki Varney, a salmon biologist and union steward with SEIU Local 503, is a graduate of the Oregon Labor Candidate School. She’s challenging incumbent Jim Lewis IAFF 314  mickiforsalem.com


AFL-CIO the state federation that most unions belong to

AFSCME state, county, and municipal employees

  • 88 Multnomah County
  • 189 City of Portland
  • 350 Clackamas County
  • 3580 Metro
  • 2831 Lane County

AFT AFT-Oregon (college instructors and school support staff)

ATU 757 transit

AWPPW pulp and paper mill

BAC Bricklayers Local 1

Boilermakers Local 104

CPBTC Portland metro area building trades council

CWA 7901 telecom

IAFF fire fighters

  • 43 Portland
  • 1159 Clackamas County
  • 314 Salem
  • 1660 Tualatin Valley

IAM Oregon Machinists Council

IBEW electrical workers

  • 48 Portland
  • 280 Albany
  • 125 utility lineman local

IBT Teamsters Joint Council 37

IBU Inland Boatmen’s Union

ILWU longshore/warehouse

Insulators – Insulators Local 36

IUOE 701 Operating Engineers Local 701

IUPAT Painters District Council 5

IW Ironworkers Local 29

LiUNA Oregon/SW Washington District Council of Laborers

  • 483 public sector laborers
  • 737 construction laborers

NOLC NW Oregon Labor Council, the local AFL-CIO

OBTC state building trades union council

OEA Oregon Education Assn. (teachers) or local affiliates

OFNHP nurses and health techs

ONA Oregon Nurses Association

OPCMIA 82 Plasterers Local 82

OPCMIA 555 Cement Masons Local 555

OSEA school employees

PAT Portland Assn. of  Teachers

PCCFFAP/PCCFCE faculty and classified locals of AFT at PCC

PTE 17 Professional & Technical Employees at City of Portland

SMART Sheet Metal Local 16

UA 290 plumbers and fitters

UFCW 555 grocery

UBC Carpenters

WFP Working Families Party, a union-backed minor party

8 Comments on A guide to Oregon’s May 2018 primary

  1. Union members should be concerned about one incumbent Judge up for re-election on this ballot. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Leslie Roberts ruled against ATU Local 757, ruling that the union could not require that TriMet conduct negotiations in open meetings even though the statute, as reported by NW Labor Press (https://nwlaborpress.org/2017/02/atu-vs-trimet-case-headed-for-oregon-supreme-court/) makes it clear that either side can require that negotiations be in the open.
    Robert’s decision was overturned by the State Appeals Court and the State Supreme Court, (https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/4468154/trimet-v-amalgamated-transit-union-local-757/) so ATU won the case, but Robert’s interpretation of the law seems designed to protect the employer over the workers.
    In this election she is being challenged by attorney Alexander Hamalian (https://alexhamalian2018.com/).

  2. Thank you for this political information that is available nowhere else.
    I’ve always appreciated the election endorsement information the NW Labor Press has offered in print form, but this on-line version is even better. It provides endorsements for many of the local races that might otherwise go unmentioned. This service is a tremendous help for those of us in the labor community who don’t always have the time to sort through it all, but want to vote for the labor friendly candidate.
    Thank you.

  3. Hello, I’m interested in the Labor Press editor’s board opinion on the Multnomah Circuit Court Judge race between Alex Hamalian and Leslie Roberts.

    Thank you,

    John Svob
    Member, UBC 1503

    • Hi John, We don’t issue our own endorsements, but we try to report on union endorsements and otherwise provide relevant information about choices on the ballot. I don’t believe either Alex Hamalian and Leslie Roberts have any union endorsement, but Hamalian’s campaign site says he’s endorsed by Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. [See Jim Robison’s commment also.]

  4. I am having a difficult time finding any info to help me decide on Roberts versus Hamalian as well – the newspapers haven’t really covered this race as far as I can find. Thanks for the lead (Brad Avakian endorsement), but any additional article or resources would be helpful on this particular race – thanks!

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