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With filing deadline past, legislative races take shape

Oregon State Capitol building, May 18, 2021. The capitol was completed in 1938.
Kristyna Wentz-Graff
File photo
Oregon State Capitol building, May 18, 2021.

With the deadline to file for the May primary in the rearview mirror, races for Oregon’s legislative seats are now set.

While dozens of people have filed to run for governor and Congress, many voters will have only one choice on their ballot for legislative races in the May primary.

Only a handful of state House and Senate seats in the southern Willamette Valley and central Oregon coast feature contested primaries, although most will have a Democrat and a Republican on the general election ballot this fall.

One race does have multiple candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. In House District 11, which includes most of Linn County outside Albany and Tangent, three Republicans and three Democrats have entered the race. One of the Republicans is Jami Cate of Lebanon, who is currently the elected state representative for House District 17. Because of redistricting, Cate will no longer live in HD-17 when the new boundaries take effect in January. The current incumbent in HD-11, Rep. Marty Wilde, D-Eugene, does not live in the newly re-drawn HD-11 and is not seeking another term in the legislature.

Some incumbent lawmakers don't face any opponents from either their own party or from the other major party. Those include Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, and Rep. Boomer Wright, R-Reedsport.

One long-time Springfield lawmaker, Lee Beyer, is stepping down. The Democrat was first elected to the Senate in 2010. In the 1990’s, Beyer served several terms in the Oregon House.

Two candidates are seeking the Senate seat currently held by Beyer, although the district boundaries will have changed significantly since Beyer was last elected in 2018. The two candidates are Democrat Ashley Pelton of Cottage Grove, and Republican Cedric Hayden of Fall Creek. Hayden is a current state representative.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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