Senator Jackie Winters lost her fight against lung cancer on 29 May. She had celebrated her 82nd birthday the previous month. She had served in the legislature since 1998, starting with two terms in the House and moving to the other wing of the building in 2002.
Inviting All Republicans
Because the legislature is still in session, securing someone to continue representing the senate district claims the top priority. Accordingly, Secretary of State Bev Clarno contacted Oregon Republican Party chairman Bill Currier the day following the senator's death to begin the process. Setting the deadline per statute, Ms. Clarno declared that the new senator needs to be sworn in and seated no later than 28 June. To meet that final date, the party must give the names of three to five nominees to the Secretary by 18 June and the commissioners of Marion and Polk counties will select the new senator from that list.
To qualify, per ORS 171.051(2), the candidate must be a
- Resident of Senate District 10. The district includes House Districts 19 and 20, reaching from Aumsville in the east, through Turner, much of South/SE Salem, and West Salem, to Independence and Monmouth in the west. One must have lived in the district for at least one year.
- Registered Republican voter. One must have been so registered for at least six (6) months prior to the date of the vacancy, i.e. 30 November 2018.
Anyone meeting the above criteria must
Apply to the Oregon Republican Party. Applications must be received by the Party no later than Thursday, 13 June. One may submit the application by either e-mail or USPS, or in person; the ORP office address is:
752 Hawthorne Ave. NE
Salem, OR 97301
- Complete and sign a Statement of Nominee's Willingness to Serve (SEL 145). Each successful candidate will hand the completed form to ORP Chairman Bill Currier, who will be presiding at the convention, to be given to the Secretary of State.
Calling All SD 10 Precinct Committee Persons (PCP)
To comply with Oregon statute and the notice from the Secretary, ORP Chairman Bill Currier issued the official call (UPDATED: revised call has gone to all SD 10 PCPs) on 4 June to the PCPs representing the voting precincts in the district on their respective county Central Committees to convene a special nominating meeting on Friday, 14 June 2019 at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner (map & directions). Chairman Currier will call the meeting to order at 7:00 pm (UPDATED); PCPs should arrive earlier in order receive proper credentials to participate in selecting the nominees; credentialing will start at 6:30 pm (UPDATED). PCPs must be prepared to show ID with photo to those affirming credentials. The proposed agenda anticipates a two-and-a-half-hour (UPDATED) meeting during which candidates will present themselves and answer questions asked by the PCPs, followed by as many rounds of voting as is necessary to compile the list of nominees that the Secretary of State will present to the Marion and Polk commissioners. You can read the proposed rules for the explanation of the voting process.
To confirm eligibility to participate in this convention, Marion County PCPs may view the report prepared by the Clerk's office while Polk County PCPs may find their names listed in this report under one of the following precincts: 122, 134, 136, 140, 146, 178, 182. Remember, PCPs may represent either the precinct in which they reside or a precinct adjacent. In other words, you may not have voted for Senator Winters this last November but still represent a precinct whose voters did.
Marion County Republican Chairman Jeff Heyen has produced a brief video about the convention that provides some additional insight. One note, however: the weight of the vote cast by each of the county commissioners is based on the total number of voters in the respective county, not just Republicans (see the next-to-last paragraph and chart of the Secretary's notice).
This final note on what happens going forward. Even though Oregon state senators serve a term of four years, because Sen. Winters was re-elected just this past November, all the voters of SD 10 will cast votes in 2020 to determine who will complete the final two years of the term. You likely remember how this process played out following the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2015. SD 10 will return to normal in 2022.