Oregon’s largest private sector union has collected enough signatures to force a recall of one of the state’s top legislative Democrats.
A spokesperson for the Secretary of State confirmed late Thursday that the office has verified that United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 has collected more than 5,000 valid signatures from voters in Rep. Paul Holvey’s Eugene area, which is more than the 4,598 signatures needed to force an election. autumn. . Holley now has five days to decide whether to resign or appear on the ballot in October.
He has served nearly 20 years in the legislature, is the Democratic leader and represents a district with a majority of registered Democrats. The vote will be the first against an Oregon lawmaker in 35 years, according to The Guardian. National Conference of State Legislatures.
Holvey did not immediately respond to questions from the Capital Chronicle Thursday night.
The grocery workers union targeted Holvey, a former carpenters union representative known in Salem for his labor-friendly policies, for his selection as chairman of the House Committee on Business and Labor to introduce a bill backed by UFCW Local 555 that would have paved the way for cannabis workers to unionize.
Legislative lawyers advised him that the proposal conflicted with federal law. The union accused him of overturning the measure due to pressure from La Motta, a marijuana company that has been a major donor to Democratic candidates – an accusation Holvey denies.
“Oregonians deserve better representation than Paul Holvey. “This is especially true of the working Oregonians left behind by Holvey and the Democratic caucus leadership,” union communications coordinator Miles Ishaya said Thursday in a statement. “Paul Holvey knows how to promote or eliminate regulation on behalf of companies like La Mota that are owned by the wealthy; He had forgotten how to do it for ordinary people, like La Motta employees.
The union-funded political action committee spent more than $180,000 on the summons, most of it to pay the Osprey Field Services petition. Holvey has spent less than $20,000 since the recall campaign began in May, including paying for polls and ads in local alternative newspaper Eugene Weekly.
If Holvey chooses not to resign, the election will be held on October 3, less than a year after his last re-election. Holvey has served in the state House of Representatives since 2004.
Petitions of recall are common, but recall elections, especially in state races, are extremely rare. Last year voters called in two Morrow County commissioners and city councilors in Eugene, Drin and Turner. Oregon voters have called three state legislators in the past century: one in 1935, one in 1985, and one in 1988.
Nathan Ern, an Eugene resident and Holvey voter who worked for the recall, said in a statement that thousands of voters had called for Holvey to be held accountable.
“For the first time in his career, Rep. Holvey will face a serious challenge on the ballot: his own record,” Ernie said.
If Holvey is recalled or resigns, Democrats in his district will nominate three to five candidates for Lane County commissioners to appoint to finish his term, which expires in January 2025.
By Julia Shumway Oregon Capital Chronicle