One day after the 78th Legislative Assembly adjourned, House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D-Eugene) made official what Capitol insiders had long speculated—she will run for secretary of state.
Hoyle made the announcement in an email this morning.
Here's what she said:
"Now that the legislative session is over, the time has come for me to focus on the future and consider how I can best serve this great state. I have decided that I will not seek re-election from my colleagues as House Majority Leader. Instead, I will explore a candidacy for Oregon Secretary of State in 2016. I believe that I can make a difference as Secretary of State by expanding our citizensâ access to government, fighting for small businesses throughout Oregon and increasing participation in our elections at all levels."
Hoyle's likely to have plenty of competition in next May's Democratic primary. State Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), who is the co-chairman of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, which writes the state's budget, told WW in June that he's likely to seek the office. And Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who was running for secretary of state in 2008 when Gov. Ted Kulongoski named him to his current post, has also been raising money and exploring a run.
Devlin and Avakian will both be in the middle of four-year terms in 2016 and can run without resigning. Since House members have to run every two years, Hoyle had to decide whether to seek re-election to her seat or jump into the statewide contest.
The current secretary of state, Jeanne Atkins, was appointed to fill out the term of current Gov. Kate Brown and said upon taking the office that she would not run for election in 2016.