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Multnomah County Undersheriff Announces Bid to Succeed Outgoing Sheriff Mike Reese

Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell wants to replace her boss.

The first woman to serve as second-in-command in the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is running to succeed Sheriff Mike Reese.

Multnomah County Undersheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell, who has 25 years of experience in the sheriff’s office, announced her candidacy Thursday.

“I am running for sheriff because I believe there is more we must do to make our communities safer and welcoming for all,” Morrisey O’Donnell said in a statement Sept. 9. “We face very serious challenges in our communities that we must come together to solve. Addressing the public health crises of gun violence, drug addiction, mental illness, and homelessness requires a collaborative approach that gives the community a voice, empowers trained behavioral health experts, service providers and outreach workers to be part of the solution.”

Reese was appointed to the role in 2016 after two-term Sheriff Dan Staton resigned. Two years later, Reese won over 96% of the vote and was elected for a four-year term in the May 2018 primary. County rules restrict office holders from serving more than eight years in any 12, so Reese cannot seek reelection.

State records show Morrisey O’Donnell’s campaign has raised $20,250 so far—one $10,000 loan, and $10,250 in contributions from about two-dozen donors. She’s scored endorsements from heavy-hitters that include County Chair Deborah Kafoury and former Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill.

Morrisey O’Donnell is a graduate of the University of Portland, and she has dual certifications in police and corrections. She joined the sheriff’s office in 1996.