Two years ago, then-Secretary of State Bill Bradbury disqualified
Jeff Duyck, a GOP candidate in House District 29
(Hillsboro and parts of Washington County) after an investigation by elections officials determined Duyck lived just outside the district boundaries.
Fast forward to 2010 and Oregon's Secretary of State, now Kate Brown, has once again been called upon to determine whether a GOP candidate gets to run in that same district. This time, the stakes are arguably higher, because three-term Rep. Chuck Riley (D-Hillsboro) is vacating the seat to run for Senate and Republican hopeful Rick Miller
-CEO of Avamere Group
, which runs 30 facilities for seniors- is a potential rising star in his party.
At issue is the constitutional requirement that legislative candidates reside in their district for one year before the general election. Washington County elections records show that Miller registered to vote in District 29 on Nov. 4, 2009, which would have been two days too late to qualify (the 2010 general election will be held on Nov. 2).
But registering to vote is not the only evidence of residence. With the help of former Legislative Counsel Greg Chaimov, now a lawyer in private practice, Miller provided sufficient documentation to the elections division to prove he met residence requirements, if only by a couple of days
Here's what Brown's compliance specialist, Carla Corbin, told Miller in a Jan. 26 letter:
On December 28, 2009 Gregory Chaimov, on your behalf, requested this office qualify you for candidacy in House District 29. Mr. Chaimov included copies of: a residency agreement dated November 1, 2009; two transportation records showing delivery of your belongings to 2000 SE 30th Avenue on November 6 and 7, 2009; a voter registration card signed and dated by you October 30, 2009 ; a postal service change dated October 30, 2009; and a DMV record showing a change of address effective October 30, 2009. Mr. Chaimov noted your belongings were not ready to be received until November 6, 2009.
This case was forwarded to our investigator for an in-depth analysis. Included in the investigator's conclusion is the residence address, 2000 SE 30th, Hillsboro, OR is an apartment in an assisted living facility you own. A telephone call to the facility revealed, after the person answering the telephone consulted with another person, individuals under the age of 55 may rent apartments at this facility. On approximately December 31, 2009, the facility confirmed you do indeed live at the 2000 SE 30th Avenue address in Hillsboro.
Based upon the documents provided by Mr. Chaimov and the findings of the Elections Division investigator, the evidence appears to substantiate you are qualified to file as a candidate for House District 29.
Miller can now focus on his likely opponent, Chuck Riley's wife, Katie.
(photo of Rick Miller courtesy of Avamere Group)