Oregon ballots can be confusing and crowded. This guide lists only candidates who have opponents on the ballot, and only those who have at least one union endorsing them. Candidates are listed in the order you’ll find them on the ballot. It’s too late to register to vote or change party affiliation. Ballots are being mailed today and are due back May 19.
You’ll see that unions often didn’t agree: In many races, more than one candidate 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. [All acronyms are listed in the legend below.]
Oregon’s primary election serves two functions:
- 1) It’s a party primary to determine who the Democratic and Republican nominees will be in November for all federal and state-level offices. In these races, the top vote-getter becomes the party’s nominee in the November general election. Only voters who are registered in that party get to decide who the party will nominate. Minor parties determine their nominees through other methods.
- 2) It’s also a winnowing-out primary for all judicial, district attorney, city, county, school board, and other local offices, which are non-partisan under Oregon law. If no candidate gets more than 50% in these races, the top two vote-getters battle it out in the November general election.
Below are union recommendations for contested races in the Democratic primary for federal, state-wide and legislative seats, followed by Non-Partisan races.
Why don’t we list Republicans?
For generations, unions have prided themselves on maintaining independence from the two major political parties. That stance is even baked into the names of some union political committees, like the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League or the Teamsters’ Democrat Republican Independent Voter Education (DRIVE) committee.
Sadly, one party is increasingly hostile to unions altogether. It didn’t used to be that way, but today’s Republican candidates don’t ask for—and don’t want—endorsements from unions.
Two years ago, Oregon Teamsters sent an endorsement letter and $500 to a Republican legislative candidate. The candidate sent it back, saying it could hurt him with Republican voters.
We’re aware of only one union-endorsed Oregon Republican in this year’s primary: Restaurant owner Justin Hwang, running for Oregon Senate District 25 in East Multnomah County, is endorsed by the Oregon Building Trades Council. We don’t include him in the guide because he’s unopposed for the Republican nomination, and we’re only listing candidates who have opposition.
Jeff Merkley is seeking a third six-year term. It would be hard to find a stronger labor ally than Merkley, who works harder than any other Oregon member of Congress to stay in touch with Oregon’s labor movement. The national AFL-CIO gives him a 99% lifetime voting record in Congress. AFL-CIO, AFT, UFCW Jeffmerkley.com
U.S. House of Representatives
Congressional District 1 (Portland/NW Oregon)
Suzanne Bonamici voted in 2015 to fast-track NAFTA-style trade deals, but other than that, she’s been a reliably pro-labor Democrat, and co-sponsored the PRO Act labor law reform bill. AFL-CIO, AFT, IAFF, IBT, IUPAT, OEA, ONA, SEIU, UFCW Bonamiciforcongress.com
Congressional District 2 (Bend, Eastern and Southern Oregon)
Nik Heuertz is a Rogue Valley native and former owner of a local cell phone retail chain, running to succeed Greg Walden. He’s for Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. WFP NIKforCongress.com
Congressional District 3 (Portland/E.Multnomah Co.)
Earl Blumenauer is seeking a seventh term. He voted for fast track in 2015, but national AFL-CIO rates him 93% for his lifetime pro-labor voting record. AFL-CIO, AFSCME, IAFF, IBT, IUPAT, OEA, UFCW EarlBlumenauer.com
Albert Lee, an Army veteran and academic dean at PCC, is running an insurgent campaign against an incumbent he says is too removed from the economic crisis regular people face. AFT AlbertLee2020.com
Congressional District 4 (Eugene/ SW Oregon)
Peter DeFazio is Oregon’s longest-serving incumbent, in office since 1987. He’s a fierce critic of NAFTA-style deals and a big proponent of infrastructure investment. AFL-CIO, AFT, IBT, OEA, UFCW, WFP defazioforcongress.org
Doyle Canning is a community organizer and environmental law grad who opposes the Jordan Cove pipeline terminal project and corporate influence in politics. AFT 3544 CanningForCongress.com
Congressional District 5 (Salem/Clackamas/Coast)
Mark Gamba, the mayor of Milwaukie, is challenging five-term incumbent Kurt Schrader, who has one of the worst labor records of any Democrat in the House. Not only has Schrader voted for every NAFTA-style trade treaty, but he voted to restrict unionization on Indian reservations, sponsored a bill to stop slowdowns by longshore workers, and has engaged in public carping against the national AFL-CIO. This February he was one of only seven Democrats to vote against a bill to make it easier to unionize and eliminate anti-union “right to work” laws. Half a dozen national unions have given a total of about $20,000 to Schrader in the last two years, but no local union appears to back him, and his campaign declined to list any union endorsers or provide a list of union endorsers to the Labor Press. With a $3 million campaign war chest full of contributions from business groups, Schrader may not feel he needs labor support. Meanwhile, Gamba is a well-liked mayor who helped build affordable housing and pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage for city employees. He’s a big advocate of Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. AFM, AFT, IBT, ILWU, SEIU, WFP MarkGamba.com
Secretary of State
Oregon’s Secretary of State oversees elections and ballot initiatives, business registration and state archives, audits state agencies … and becomes governor in case of a vacancy.
Shemia Fagan is an employment law attorney and six-year state legislator. She challenged and toppled an incumbent Senate Democrat who stood in the way of tenant rights reform, and then helped pass a statewide rent control law. The Oregon AFL-CIO named her working family champion in 2019. She voted against last year’s bill to cut PERS contributions. AFL-CIO, OBTC, AFSCME, AFT, IAFF, OEA, OSEA, SEIU ShemiaForOregon.com
Mark Hass is a former TV journalist and a state lawmaker since 2001. In the Senate, he’s been one of the more difficult Democrats for labor, killing bills in unrecorded closed-door Senate Democratic caucus meetings. He also helped craft last year’s Student Success Act. He voted to cut PERS contributions. IBT MarkHass.com
Oregon’s 30 state senators serve four-year terms. Every two years, half are up for election. Of the 18 senate seats held by Democrats, seven are up this year. Three are open seats: Arnie Roblan of Coos Bay and Laurie Monnes Anderson of Gresham aren’t running again, and Mark Hass of Beaverton is running for secretary of state. Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins, a supporter of the Jordan Cove LNG pipeline and terminal, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination to succeed Roblan. Ginny Burdick of Portland is the only incumbent state senator to face a primary challenge. Three Democrats are also vying to take on Republican Brian Boquist in Dallas, none with labor backing.
Senate District 14 (Beaverton)
Incumbent Mark Hass is running for secretary of state.
Kate Lieber is a former domestic abuse prosecutor who teaches criminal justice at PCC and chairs the board of homeless non-profit Transition Projects. AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, IAFF, IBEW 48, IUPAT, LiUNA, OEA, OFNHP, OSEA, SEIU, UBC, UFCW KateForOregon.com
Dick Schouten is a longtime Washington County commissioner and is married to state rep Sheri Malstrom. IBT DickSchouten.com
Senate District 18 (Westside Portland)
Ben Bowman, a Tigard-Tualatin School Board member, school district lobbyist and former legislative staffer, is challenging longtime incumbent Ginny Burdick. He wants Oregon to pass Clean Energy Jobs bill, campaign finance reform, and expand mental health and addiction treatment OBTC, IBEW 48, OEA, OSEA BenForOregon.com
Ginny Burdick, in office since 1997, is the longest-serving Democrat in the Senate and was most recently state Senate majority leader. ONA GinnyForOregon.com
Oregon House of Representatives
All 60 state house seats are up every two years. Only eight have more than one Democrat seeking the seat. Six of those are open seats where the incumbent isn’t running. Only one incumbent is facing a primary challenge: Rob Nosse of Portland.
House District 19 (Salem)
Republican Raquel Moore-Green was appointed to this seat to replace Denys Boles, who was appointed to the state senate when Republican Jackie Winters died.
Jackie Leung is a Salem City Council member, a former member of the Coalition of Graduate Employees at Oregon State University, and a graduate of the Oregon Labor Candidate School. IBEW 280 JackieForOregon.org
House District 28 (Aloha/Beaverton)
Incumbent Democrat Jeff Barker declined to run for re-election.
WLnsvey Campos is a case manager for a housing non-profit, and a former political organizer for the Oregon Nurses Association and the union-backed group Our Oregon. She wants more affordable housing and a higher minimum wage. AFL-CIO, OBTC, AFSCME, AFT, IAFF, IUPAT, LiUNA, OEA, OFNHP, ONA, OSEA, SEIU, UBC, UFCW CamposForOregon.com
House District 32 (Astoria)
Incumbent Democrat Tiffiny Mitchell, an SEIU member who voted to cut her fellow members pensions, declined to run for re-election after serving just one term, and didn’t announce until the filing deadline.
Debbie Boothe-Schmidt is a trial assistant at Clatsop County and former president of her local union, AFSCME Local 2746. SEIU DebbieForOregon.com
House District 33 (Portland)
Incumbent Democrat Mitch Greenlick declined to run for re-election.
Serin Bussell worked in procurement for three years at Metro, and served as a shop steward there with AFSCME Local 3580. She left to run Charles Gallia’s unsuccessful campaign for state senate, and then served as chief of staff for State Sen. Jeff Golden. She’s a graduate of the Oregon Labor Candidate School. She favors public financing of elections. AFT, AFSCME SerinForStateRep.com
Maxine Dexter, a critical care doctor and former member of the board of Kaiser Permanente, is an advocate of universal health care. IBT, OFNHP MaxineForOregon.com
Andy Saultz, an education professor at Pacific University, was formerly a teachers union member in Michigan. He’s a graduate of the Oregon Labor Candidate School. OSEA, Insulators, Glaziers 740 AndyForOregon.org
Christina Stephenson is a civil rights attorney who worked with unions to craft a 2017 fair scheduling law and a 2019 law requiring employers to have policies for employees to report discrimination and sexual assault. AFL-CIO, OBTC, ATU 757, Boilermakers 104, IAFF, IBEW 48, ILWU, IUPAT, LiUNA, OEA, ONA, UBC ChristinaStephenson.com
House District 35 (Tigard)
Incumbent Democrat Margaret Doherty is retiring.
Dacia Grayber is a Tualatin Valley firefighter and an active member of IAFF Local 1660. She’s also a graduate of the Oregon Labor Candidate School. AFL-CIO, OBTC, AFSCME, AFT, IAFF, LiUNA, OFNHP, ONA, OSEA, SEIU, UFCW, WFP DaciaForOregon.org
House District 36 (Portland)
Incumbent Democrat Jennifer Williamson declined to run for re-election so she could run for secretary of state, but then dropped out.
Rob Fullmer is an IT specialist at PSU, and a union steward and member of the SEIU Local 503 executive board. A graduate of the Oregon Labor Candidate School, he wants to end Oregon’s income tax kicker and improve school funding. AFT, SEIU RobForOregon.com
Laurie Wimmer is a longtime lobbyist for the Oregon Education Association, Oregon’s teachers union, and is considered an expert on the state budget. She wants to enact tax reforms so that big corporations and the wealthy pay more. AFL-CIO, AFM, AFSCME, AFF, IAFF, IBEW 48, IBT, LiUNA, OEA, OFNHP, ONA, OSEA, UBC, UFCW, WFP LaurieForOregon.com
House District 39 (Canby/Estacada)
Tessah Danel, a Clackamas River Water Commissioner and spouse of a union electrician, is up against OHSU nursing student Julia Hill for the chance to challenge Republican incumbent Christine Drazan. IBEW 48, Insulators, Roofers 49 TessahDanel.com
House District 42 (Portland)
Paige Kreisman is a trans woman, army veteran, and housing activist. She’s challenging Rob Nosse because of his vote to cut PERS. She wants to fight for campaign finance reform, affordable housing, and a Green New Deal. AFSCME, AFT, CWA, OEA, OSEA Paige2020.com
Rob Nosse is a union rep for Oregon Nurses Association (and member of Teamsters Local 223). He’s seeking a fourth term in the House. He wants to champion universal healthcare and an end to public college tuition. IBT, ONA, UFCW RobNosse.com
House District 46 (Portland)
Incumbent Democrat Alissa Keny-Guyer declined to run for re-election.
Khanh Pham is an organizer with OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and helped organize a grad student union at PSU. She wants Oregon to pass an Green New Deal and build more affordable housing. AFL-CIO, OBTC, AFSCME, AFT, IBEW 48, IBT, IUPAT, OEA, SEIU, UFCW KhanhPhamForOregon.com
House District 50 (Gresham)
Incumbent Democrat Carla Piluso declined to run for re-election.
Ricki Ruiz is the community services coordinator for the City of Gresham and a member of the Reynolds School Board. He wants Oregon to invest more in schools, affordable housing, crime prevention, and mental health support. AFL-CIO, OBTC, AFSCME, IBEW 48, OEA, OFNHP, OSEA, UFCW, WFP Ricki4oregon.com
William Miller is an advocacy manager at the Native American Youth and Family Center. He wants the justice system to use alternatives to incarceration. IBT William4oregon.com
Metro regional government
Oregon’s Metro is the only directly elected regional government in the United States. Six Metro Councilors are elected to four-year terms from individual districts, and the Council President is elected region-wide. Serving over 1.5 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, Metro coordinates land use and transportation planning among the region’s local governments, manages garbage and recycling, maintains the Urban Growth Boundary, and runs parks, trails and natural areas and venues such as the Oregon Convention Center, Portland Expo Center, and the Oregon Zoo.
Councilor District 5 (N, NE and NW Portland)
Mary Nolan is a former Oregon House Majority Leader. IAFF, PAT, UBC NolanForMetro.com
Mary Peveto is the founder of Neighbors for Clean Air and a former Adidas brand manager. AFSCME 3580 PevetoForMetro.com
Karen Spencer is the founder of a finance tech company and a former intellectual property attorney at Nike. IBT VoteForKarenSpencer.com
Councilor District 6 (Central East and West Portland)
Bob Stacey is the incumbent Metro Council member and former director of the land use advocacy group 1000 Friends of Oregon. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME 3580, IAFF, PAT, UBC, UFCW BobStacey.com
Leigha LaFleur is a patent agent and 2016 Bernie Sanders organizer. PCCFAP LaFleur4oregon.com
SUPPORT Funds supportive housing services including housing, drug treatment, and mental health services through a 1% tax on high-income individuals ($125,000 individual, $200,000 joint) and businesses (over $5 million) AFSCME 3580, PAT, ONA, UFCW
The positions are nonpartisan, but in recent years, Clackamas County has been a battleground between moderate Democrats and conservative Republicans. This year, the logging-company-backed group Timber Unity is backing challengers to Chair Jim Bernard and Commissioner Ken Humbertson.
Jim Bernard, the incumbent chair, faces a challenge from former Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME, IAFF, IUOE, IW, LiUNA, UA 290, UBC, UFCW VoteJimBernard.com
Commission, Position 3
Martha Schrader, incumbent commissioner and a former state legislator, is seeking a third term. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME 350, IAFF, IBT, UA 290, UBC, UFCW CommissionerMarthaSchrader.com
Commission, Position 4
Ken Humberston, incumbent commissioner, is seeking a second term. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME 350, IAFF, IBEW 48, IBT, Insulators, IUOE, IUPAT, IW, UFCW VoteKenH4ccc.com
Commissioner, Position 1
Margaret Magruder, incumbent commissioner, owns a wool insulation company. NOLC MargaretMagruder.com
Commissioner, Position 3 (South Eugene)
Laurie Trieger is a community activist and works for a nonprofit that helps reintegrate the formerly incarcerated. AFT, IAFF, IBT, SEIU, UBC, UFCW LaurieTrieger.com
Commissioner, Position 4 (North Eugene)
Andrew Ross is a retired family law attorney. LCCLC, UFCW AndrewRossForLaneCounty.com
Mike Schmidt, director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, is a former deputy Multnomah district attorney. He wants to focus on violent crimes, prioritize addiction counseling and mental health treatment, support restorative justice programs for crime victims, get rid of cash bail, and establish a problem-solving court to move homeless people facing minor charges towards self-sufficiency. NOLC, AFSCME 88, PAT, PCCFAP, UBC, UFCW, WFP MikeSchmidtForDA.com
Ethan Knight is an assistant U.S. Attorney best known for his role in the unsuccessful prosecution of the Malheur Refuge occupiers and for securing a 30-year prison sentence for a 19-year-old Somali-American Portlander who was recruited by undercover FBI agents to take part in a fake Christmas tree bomb plot. IAFF, IBT, PPA ElectEthanKnight.com
Circuit Court Judge, 4th District, Position 12
Rima Ghandour is a commercial litigation attorney in a five-way race for a spot on the state circuit court. NOLC, CPBTC, PCCFAP, UFCW RimaForJudge.com
Commissioner, District 1
Nafisa Fai is a Somali immigrant, founder of the annual Pan African Festival, and a public health advocate. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME, IBT, LiUNA, OEA, IAFF, IBEW 48, PCCFFAP, SEIU, UBC, UFCW NafisaForWashingtonCounty.com
Commissioner, District 3
Ben Marcotte is a software engineer and neighborhood activist. UFCW BenForDist3.org
Roy Rogers, the incumbent, is a CPA and the former mayor of Tualatin. IAFF, IBEW 48 ElectRoyRogers.com
City of Beaverton
Lacey Beaty is a Beaverton City Council member and a manager at Virginia Garcia Health Center. She advocated for paid family medical leave, and wants more investment in affordable housing and sidewalks. CPBTC, IBT, IUOE, IW, LiUNA, OEA, PCCFFAP BeatyForBeaverton.com
Denny Doyle, incumbent mayor, is seeking a fourth four-year term. IAFF, IBEW 48, SEIU VoteDennyDoyle.com
Councilor, Position 3
John Dugger is a supplier performance manager at Nike and a neighborhood activist. NOLC, PCCFFAP/PCCFCE, SEIU JohnForBeaverton.com
Mark Fagin, incumbent city councilor, owns a tech industry sales rep company. IAFF Fagin4beaverton.com
City of Eugene
Lucy Vinis is the incumbent mayor seeking a second four-year term. AFT, IAFF, IBEW 280, IBT, OEA, SEIU, UFCW LucyVinis.com
Councilor, Ward 1 (Central Eugene)
Tim Morris is a detox worker and tenant activist. LCCLC, AFT, IBT FriendsOfTimMorris.com
Councilor, Ward 2 (South Eugene)
Matthew Keating is a Lane Community College board member who works in digital marketing. LCCLC, AFT, IAFF, IBEW 280 MattKeating.org
Councilor, Ward 7 (Northwest Eugene)
Claire Syrett, the incumbent, is a nurses union rep. LCCLC, IAFF, IBEW 280, IBT, UBC, UFCW ClaireSyrett.org
Councilor, Ward 8 (Southwest Eugene)
Randy Groves is a retired fire fighter. LCCLC, IAFF, IBEW 280, SMART, UBC, UFCW RandyGroves.org
Ryan Moore is a tenant activist. AFT, IBT MooreForEugene.com
City of Portland
Ted Wheeler, having doubled homeless shelter capacity and built 800 new units of affordable housing, is seeking a second four-year term as mayor of Portland. By and large, unions that had dealings with the city don’t think Wheeler had a faultless first term, but they see a knowledgeable mayor who has worked to maintain good relationships with unions dating back to his time as state treasurer and county chair. Faced with a bevy of untested challengers, endorsing him for a second term was not controversial. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME 189, IAFF, IBEW 48, SEIU 49, UFCW TedWheeler.com
Commissioner, Position 1
Carmen Rubio has led the Latino Network since 2009, and formerly worked for late city commissioner Nick Fish, Portland Mayor Tom Potter, and Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz. NOLC, CPBTC, AFSCME 189, IBEW 48, PAT, PROTEC17, SEIU, UBC, UFCW CarmenForPortland.com
Commissioner, Position 2
Sam Chase is a current member of Metro Council and a former chief of staff to late city commissioner Nick Fish. IBT SamChaseForPortland.com
Julia DeGraw is a labor ally and frequent participant at union rallies. As leader of Food and Water Watch, she helped defeat a proposal for Nestlé to bottle and sell water from the public water supply in Cascade Locks, and she campaigned with city unions against a ballot measure to privatize the Portland Water Bureau. AFSCME 189, PAT, PCCFAP/PCCFCE, PROTEC17 Julia4pdx.com
Loretta Smith worked 20 years for Senator Ron Wyden, and then served served eight years as Multnomah County Commissioner. She ran for City Council in 2018. UFCW VoteLorettaSmith.com
Commissioner, Position 4
Sam Adams, former Portland mayor. SEIU 49 SamAdamsPDX.com
Chloe Eudaly, the incumbent commissioner, delivered on what she ran on four years ago, and that’s action on housing. Rent control was banned statewide, but Eudaly led passage of the closest thing to it: a renter relocation ordinance that required landlords to pay the equivalent three months rent if they raise rents more than 10%. IBT, PAT, PROTEC17 VoteChloe.com
Mingus Mapps, a former political science professor, objected to Eudaly’s plan to diminish the role of neighborhood associations and end funding for citizen crime patrols, and was fired from Eudaly’s Portland Office of Community and Civic Life. Now he’s running for his former boss’s job. CPBTC, PCCFAP MingusMapps.com
SUPPORT Renews an existing 10¢ a gallon motor vehicle fuel tax that funds street maintenance and repair and safety improvements NOLC, PROTEC17
City of Salem
City Council, Ward 1
Virginia Stapleton is a parent activist. SEIU, UFCW ElectVirginiaStapleton.com
City Council, Ward 3
Trevor Philips is an emergency room doctor at Salem Hospital. IBEW 280, SEIU, UFCW ElectTrevorPhillips.com
City Council, Ward 7
Vanessa Nordyke is an attorney for the Oregon Department of Justice, a member of AFSCME Local 1085, and an Oregon Labor Candidate School grad. AFSCME, IAFF, SEIU, UFCW ElectVanessaNordyke.com
City of Springfield
Mike Eyster is a retired UO administrator, former Board chair of Lane Transit District and Lane Community College, and vice chair of Springfield Utility Board. LCCLC, ATU, IAFF, IBEW 280, UBC, UFCW MikeEysterForMayor.com
Councilor, Ward 3
Kori Rodley is a manager at United Way. LCCLC, IAFF, IBT, UBC, UFCW KoriRodley.com
Centennial School District
SUPPORT Renews existing bond for school security and facility improvements. NOLC
Unless endorsing labor organizations are listed alongside local number, the acronym refers to a statewide or regional body. In each entry, AFL-CIO and OBTC are listed first because they are unions of unions.
AFL-CIO state federation most unions belong to
AFSCME state, county, and municipal employees
- 189 City of Portland
- 350 Clackamas County
- 3580 Metro
- 2831 Lane County
AFT AFT-Oregon or local affiliate
AFM Musicians Local 99
ATU transit workers Local 757
CPBTC Portland metro area building trades council
CWA Local 7901, telecom and nonprofit workers
IAFF Fire Fighters or local affiliate
IBEW electrical workers
- 48 Portland
- 280 Albany
IBT Teamsters Joint Council 37
Insulators Insulators Local 36
IUOE Operating Engineers Local 701
IUPAT Painters District Council 5
IW Ironworkers Local 29
LCCLC Lane County Central Labor Chapter (local AFL-CIO)
LiUNA Oregon/SW Washington District Council of Laborers
NOLC NW Oregon Labor Council, the local AFL-CIO
OBTC State building trades council
OEA Oregon Education Association or its local affiliate
OFNHP Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals
ONA Oregon Nurses Association
OSEA school employees
PAT Portland Association of Teachers
PCCFFAP/PCCFCE faculty and classified locals of AFT at PCC
PPA Portland Police Association
PROTEC17 Professional & Technical Employees at City of Portland
SMART Sheet Metal Local 16
UA 290 plumbers and fitters
UFCW Local 555, grocery
UBC Pacific NW Council of Carpenters
WFP Oregon Working Families Party, a union-backed minor party