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Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson Announces Candidacy for Chair

In 2012, she was the first Latina elected to the Oregon House.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson today said she’ll seek to replace County Chair Deborah Kafoury next year. (Kafoury is term-limited from seeking reelection.)

Vega Pederson currently represents District 3 in East Portland. In 2012, she was the first Latina elected to the Oregon House. She won her county seat in 2016.

In that role, she led the campaign to pass the Preschool for All ballot measure in 2020. She is the first candidate to enter what is likely to be a crowded field that could include some or all of her colleagues, Commissioners Susheela Jayapal, Sharon Meieran and Lori Stegmann. Shannon Singleton, Gov. Kate Brown’s director of equity and racial justice, is also considering a run.

“I’m running to deliver results that make a difference in people’s lives at a time when our communities are struggling,” Vega Pederson said.

“I’m ready to take on the most critical challenges as county chair, from keeping our communities healthy and safe, to tackling our growing houselessness and housing problem, to combating climate change and racial injustice. I will lead as I have throughout my career: bringing people together to find solutions that meet our shared values.”