Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla and Trial Lawyer Christina Stephenson Will Compete to Be Labor Commissioner

Kulla is switching from the governor’s race. Stephenson ran for the Oregon House in 2020.

Two candidates to succeed Oregon Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle stepped forward this week. (Hoyle, a Eugene Democrat, is seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who is retiring.)

The first to announce: trial lawyer Christina Stephenson, who ran unsuccessfully for a House seat in Washington County in 2020 but attracted strong support from organized labor and trial lawyers.

“Growing up in rural Oregon, I witnessed first-hand how too many workers and small businessesare unheard by politicians,” Stephenson said. “As a civil rights attorney, I have spent my career fighting against discrimination, sexual harassment, and unlawful labor practices. As your next labor commissioner, I’ll be that same advocate for workers’ rights and economic fairness.”

The second candidate is Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla, who was the first elected official to enter the Democratic primary for governor last year but has decided instead to set his sights on the nonpartisan position, which regulates workplaces and promotes apprenticeships and job training.

Kulla says the labor commissioner’s responsibilities for protecting workers and promoting a more just, sustainable economy dovetail with the concerns that drew him into the governor’s race. “I’m very excited about it,” Kulla says.