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Labor Organizer Lamar Wise Bids to Succeed Sen. Chuck Riley

If appointed, Wise would join three other Black senators in the Oregon Capitol.

Lamar Wise, a labor organizer in Washington County, is seeking an appointment to the Oregon Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Chuck Riley (D-Hillsboro).

Wise, 30, currently works as a political coordinator for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75.

Earlier this month, Riley announced he would retire early from the Senate District 15 seat. Wise joins four other candidates seeking the appointment: Rep. Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro), Hillsboro City Councilor Anthony Martin, Pacific University student Ryan Van Domelen, and attorney Nathan Sosa, according to the Forest Grove News-Times.

Wise says he would bring unique experience to his role as a senator.

“When I attended college, at times it was so hard to keep up with tuition and bills that I found myself couch surfing for months at a time,” Wise said in a press release. “I know my story is all too common for folks from all walks of life. I believe in my heart that everybody deserves a safe, warm place for them and their families to live.”

If appointed, Wise would join three other Black senators in the Oregon Capitol: Lew Frederick, James Manning, Jr., and Kayse Jama.

“Washington County is growing, changing and diversifying,” Wise says. “I would be proud to be the first Black senator serving SD 15, and I would be especially proud to serve this district as someone who has spent years organizing alongside the working families that call this beautiful area home.”