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In Oregon, the 2020 election season is officially underway

Thursday marked the first day for major party or nonpartisan candidates to file declarations of candidacy with the secretary of state's office.

Posted: Sep 24, 2019 5:28 PM
Updated: Sep 24, 2019 5:28 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In Oregon, the 2020 election season is officially underway.

Thursday marked the first day for major party or nonpartisan candidates to file declarations of candidacy with the secretary of state's office.

One of the top state races is for secretary of state, the second-highest statewide office after the governor and currently held by a Republican.

Filing papers as Democratic candidate for that office was Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who in 2018 tried to unseat Republican Rep. Greg Walden who represents a U.S. congressional district that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2016. McLeod-Skinner lost but came closer than any Democratic challenger to Walden has in past elections.

State Sen. Mark Hass, a Democrat and veteran of the Legislature, also submitted candidacy documents for secretary of state. The office-holder is next in line to be governor and is in charge of elections, government audits and has other key functions.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno urged Oregonians to run for an office. Her office said there have been few candidates in recent elections, which restricted voters' choices.

Either no one filed to run, or only one person filed, in 92% of state representative seats in the 2018 primary, Clarno's office said. In 85% of state senate seats, either no one filed to run or only one person filed.

"As a lifelong volunteer, and serving in the Legislature and now as secretary of state, there is only one way to change things. I urge you to get involved and run for an office," Clarno said.

In the last election, Democrats won a supermajority in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature. Still, they lacked the numbers to produce a quorum by themselves in the senate, which Republicans took advantage of by staging two walkouts to push their agenda.

Democratic Party of Oregon Chairwoman KC Hanson said Democrats are looking to capitalize on Trump's record and dissatisfaction over the GOP boycotts.

"In Oregon, we'll be focused on re-electing our Oregon Democrats and on taking back the secretary of state's office," Hanson said. No Republicans had declared their candidacy for the office as of Friday afternoon.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, a Democrat, is thus far the only candidate to declare for that office.

Other Oregon offices up for a vote include state treasurer, 16 of 30 state senate seats and all 60 state representative seats.

Oregonians will also be voting for president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative. Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, who at one point was pondering a bid for the presidency, has said he'll run for re-election instead but did not immediately file papers.

Campaign websites and social media accounts for candidates have sprung up on the internet, as candidates strive to get their messages directly to voters.

McLeod-Skinner declared in her Twitter account that she won't accept campaign donations from pharmaceutical companies because of the opioid epidemic in Oregon. She challenged others to do the same.

Hass, for his part, on Facebook touted his role in the Legislature's passage this session of a new tax on large Oregon businesses to boost school funding.

"Critics said it was impossible. But we did it," Hass said in a video, promising to bring that passion and experience to the secretary of state's job.

Clarno was appointed secretary of state to fill out the remaining term of Dennis Richardson, who died of cancer, under the agreement she won't be a candidate in 2020.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 138587

Reported Deaths: 1882
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29216464
Washington19330179
Marion16787248
Clackamas12085141
Lane8803113
Jackson718996
Umatilla701173
Deschutes521240
Yamhill330849
Linn321950
Malheur320155
Polk258740
Klamath255046
Josephine185436
Benton182314
Douglas178545
Jefferson173825
Union115417
Wasco112523
Columbia107618
Lincoln103817
Coos102015
Hood River98621
Morrow96710
Clatsop7075
Crook66213
Baker5835
Tillamook3712
Curry3255
Lake2575
Grant2171
Harney1826
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3213222

Reported Deaths: 37543
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles107967215314
San Bernardino2660281678
Riverside2643632857
Orange2377082704
San Diego2286322375
Santa Clara985831264
Kern90564591
Fresno858081067
Sacramento841101185
Alameda70823896
Ventura66402525
San Joaquin59665835
Contra Costa55245489
Stanislaus49065796
Tulare43574542
Monterey37527259
San Mateo34294340
San Francisco30559293
Santa Barbara27149267
Solano27041115
Imperial25707510
Merced25575331
Sonoma25141251
Kings20138161
Placer17839188
San Luis Obispo16957158
Madera14000151
Santa Cruz13009135
Marin12024165
Yolo11210138
Shasta10054129
Butte9820136
El Dorado818462
Sutter806983
Napa800548
Lassen526916
San Benito522351
Yuba517630
Tehama446846
Tuolumne347740
Nevada335574
Mendocino329336
Amador306733
Lake272432
Humboldt262427
Glenn202622
Colusa18719
Calaveras170423
Siskiyou149913
Mono11454
Inyo105129
Del Norte8742
Plumas6135
Modoc3903
Mariposa3555
Trinity3065
Sierra950
Alpine730
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Medford
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