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Rep. Paul Holvey recall election set for Oct. 3

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New voter registration for the recall election closes on Sept. 12, and ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on Sept. 15.

from UFCW Local 555 and staff reports

Voters will decide Oct. 3 whether to recall Rep. Paul Holvey.

After petitioners collected enough signatures to force the recall election, Rep. Holvey had the option to resign by Aug. 29. By instead submitting his “Statement of Justification,” the recall election will proceed.

New voters must be registered by Sept. 12 to be eligible to vote in the special recall election.

The Secretary of State determined Aug. 24 that with their second batch of recall petitions, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 succeeded in forcing the recall election.

The union-backed campaign was required to submit 4,598 signatures from voters within House District 8, and was found to have 5,055 valid signatures out of more than 10,000 submitted.

The recall campaign had been hoping to qualify for the ballot in July, but was not able to collect the needed amount of signatures that quickly.

“Petitioning for a recall is an extraordinarily high bar, and we couldn’t have done it without the outpouring of support from thousands of my fellow District 8 residents who demanded accountability,” said recall sponsor Nathan Erne, who lives in Holvey’s district. “For the first time in his career, Rep. Holvey will have a serious challenge at the ballot: his own record.”

The recall effort outlined a long list of Holvey’s “anti-worker actions and questionable conduct that warrant his removal,” including Holvey’s “dishonest framing of his opposition to pro-worker legislation, his long standing double-standard advantaging big business interests over those of working people, a chronic lack of engagement, and other instances of poor conduct.”

“Oregonians deserve better representation than Paul Holvey provides; this applies especially to working Oregonians who have been left behind by Holvey and the Democratic Party’s caucus leadership,” said UFCW 555 Communications Coordinator Miles Eshaia. “Paul Holvey knows how to advance or kill legislation on behalf of corporations like La Mota that are owned by rich people; he’s just forgotten how to do it for regular people, like La Mota’s employees.”

On his website, and in his statement of justification, Rep. Holvey said the “reckless” recall effort was launched “by one special interest group and their lobbyist, simply because I asked questions about a potential piece of legislation they were pushing.”

Rep. Holvey wrote that after asking questions and receiving legal advice, he concluded the piece of legislation would be “irresponsible” and would risk a costly legal battle for the state “while likely setting back the use of labor peace agreements that I have fought for alongside union allies.”

“One disgruntled union launched this recall after I asked questions about their proposed legislation,” he wrote in his statement of justification. “Their retribution is spending a fortune on a smear campaign to place this recall on the ballot. No other union or organization has joined them. This recall would overturn a fair election result from less than a year ago. Recalls should be used when elected officials commit crimes or major ethical abuse, not when one special interest gets upset because their bill didn’t pass.”

“I am proud that the work I do to support working families has earned the support of SEIU, the Carpenters, LIUNA, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Oregon Nurses, PCUN, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, Firefighters Local #851, Oregon State Building Trades Council and many others,” he concluded. “All I ask is, before you make a decision, look at my track record and list of supporters – not reckless claims fueled by misinformation and – sadly – wasted employee contributions.

State elections officials announced Aug. 24 that the recall petition qualified for the special election ballot. “Signature verification has been completed,” officials announced on the recall elections website. “After verification, the petition contained a total of 5,055 valid signatures. The total number of signatures includes first submittal (2,610) and the second submittal (2,445). Petition has qualified for the special election ballot.”

Special election ballots will be mailed on Friday, Sept. 15. Lane County Elections drop box locations will start accepting ballots on the same day.

In the event of resignation or recall, the Democratic Party of Lane County will provide Lane County commissioners with a list of three to five candidates from which to select a replacement.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555 represents over 30,000 workers in Oregon, Southwestern Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. Our membership consists of workers in retail, manufacturing, health care and many other industries. We are a diverse group of workers that have grown into being the largest private sector labor union in Oregon. Local 555 has a rich history dating back to 1936. Our local is chartered by the UFCW International Union, joining us with over 1.3 million workers across the United States and the world.

Updated Aug. 30, 2023 to include Rep. Holvey’s statement of justification.

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