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Vinis endorses Knudson for Eugene’s next mayor

Mayor Lucy Vinis and mayoral candidate Kaarin Knudson at podium.
Brian Bull
Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis (left) and her endorsed candidate to succeed her, Kaarin Knudson, at Tuesday night's event at the Campbell Community Center.

Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis says she won’t seek a third term in office.

Before a crowd of over 100 people gathered inside the Campbell Community Center Tuesday evening, Vinis made her announcement.

“I am here today to announce my decision not to seek a third term, and instead to wholeheartedly endorse Kaarin Knudson to lead this community, as our next mayor,” she said.

Audience in large room.
Brian Bull
More than 100 people packed a large conference room for Vinis' announcement, including local officials and community activists.

Alongside Vinis stood the candidate she’s endorsed to replace her. Kaarin Knudson is a South Eugene resident who attended the University of Oregon. She is a licensed architect and past president of the City Club of Eugene. A campaign press release said Knudson has spoken at conferences about "sustainable cities, housing policy, and the work of guiding community change."

Speaking to KLCC after the event, Knudson shared her priorities if elected mayor.

“Providing safe, affordable stable housing for people,” she said. “Making sure that our public spaces are a priority, and that people feel that they can access our parks and the public space in our city is incredibly important. And then making sure that we have a strong, sustainable, local economy.”

Knudson has already reeled in more than $16,000 in contributions, according to the Secretary of State’s campaign finance records. More candidates will likely file in advance of next May’s primary.

A few times during her remarks, Mayor Vinis got choked up while reflecting on her work on homelessness, supporting the local economy, and environmental issues. With 15 months left in her second term, she said she hopes to continue making a difference but feels Knudson is the best person to succeed her. Vinis told KLCC that she may still work on climate change after leaving office.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.