by Alan F. Zundel
How are the races for the 2018 elections shaping up? Let’s take a look at the top offices Eugene-Springfield voters will be casting their ballots for.
The primary election will be on May 15, 2018. Voters registered with each of the major parties—Democratic, Republican, or Independent Party—will choose their respective party’s nominees in the primary. Candidates for nonpartisan offices will also be on the primary ballot, vying to be one of the top two candidates (or in some cases the only candidate) to appear on the November ballot.
Filing to run as a candidate in the primary election closes on March 6, 2018. Let’s take a look at who has filed as of October 10. (Candidates for minor parties will be chosen at their conventions held at various times in 2018, generally after the primary election.)
On the federal level, 2018 is not a Presidential election year nor are either of Oregon’s two U.S. Senators up for election. In the U.S. House of Representatives, the Eugene-Springfield area is covered by U.S. Congressional District 4, which extends north to Corvallis and Lebanon, south to the California border, west to the Pacific coastline, and east into the Cascade Mountain Range.
Democrat Peter DeFazio has held the seat since 1987 and is expected to seek the nomination of his party again, although he has not yet filed as a candidate.
Two candidates for the Republican nomination have filed so far, Stefan Strek and Jo Rae Perkins. In 2016 Strek was a candidate in the primary election for Eugene mayor. Perkins lives in Albany and was a primary candidate for U.S. House District 4 in 2016 and the U.S. Senate in 2014.
There are two statewide seats up for election in 2018, Governor and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).
The incumbent Governor, Democrat Kate Brown, has filed for reelection. On the Republican side, Knute Buehler, Keenan Bohach, and Bruce Cuff have filed. Buehler, who lives in Bend, is the best known of the Republicans, currently serving as a representative for Oregon House District 54. Bohack is a farmer and U.S. Army veteran living in Keizer, and Cuff is a real estate broker in Lyons and also a veteran.
The BOLI Commissioner is a nonpartisan office. The current incumbent, Brad Avakian, has stated that he will not be running for reelection. So far Val Hoyle and Jack Howard have filed for the office. Hoyle ran for Oregon Secretary of State in the 2016 primary. She previously represented Oregon House District 14 and was majority leader in the state house. Howard, from La Grande, is an attorney and County Commissioner in Union County.
Oregon State Senate
Three state senate districts cover areas of Eugene and Springfield: districts 4, 6 and 7. The terms of state senators last for four years and all three of these are up for election in 2018.
To date no one has filed for District 4 (south Lane County into Douglas County). The current incumbent is Democrat Floyd Prozanski, who has held the seat since 2003. Prozanski is expected to run again.
Democrat Lee Beyer, the current incumbent of District 6 (north central Lane County into Linn County), has filed to run again. Beyer has held the seat since 1999 and so far no challenger has filed.
Democratic James Manning was appointed to District 7 (west Eugene area) in December of 2016 and has filed to run for the seat. As a new legislator he is expected to draw challengers, but no one else has filed yet.
Oregon State House
Every seat in the Oregon State House is up for election every two years. Six seats cover the Eugene-Springfield area.
No one has filed yet for District 7 (east Lane County into north Douglas County). The seat has been held by Republican Cedric Hayden since 2015, and he is expected to run again.
Democrat Paul Holvey, the incumbent in District 8 (southwest Eugene area), has filed to run again. He has held the seat since 2004. Democrat Phil Barnhart, the incumbent in District 11 (west Lane County) since 2003, has also filed to run again. No one has yet filed to challenge either of them.
To date no one has filed for District 12 (Springfield) or 13 (north central Eugene). Democrat John Lively has held the District 12 seat since 2013 and is expected to run again. Democrat Nancy Nathanson has held the District 13 seat since 2007 and is also expected to run again.
Democrat Julie Fahey is in her first term as representative of District 14 (northwest Eugene). She has filed to run again and Rich Cunningham has filed for the Republican nomination. Fahey is a business consultant and Cunningham a retired insurance broker.
Lane County Commission
The terms for Lane County Commissioners are four years and three of the five seats are up for election in 2018. These seats are nonpartisan.
In District 1 (west Lane County), incumbent Jay Bozievich is running for reelection. So far I am not aware of anyone else running for this seat.
In District 2 (Springfield), incumbent Sid Leiken is running for reelection. Former Lane Education Service District board member Joe Berney of Springfield is challenging Leiken for the seat.
And in District 5 (east Lane County) incumbent Gary Williams is running. Williams was appointed to the board in April of this year to fill out the term of Commissioner Faye Stewart. This seat has attracted a number of competitors. Eugene property manager Heather Buch, former county commissioner candidate Kevin Matthews, and real estate broker James Barber are all actively engaged in campaign activities.
We’ll be looking at each of these races in more detail as the election season progresses. Check back with us or sign up for our email list on our website to keep in touch.