Here’s How the Vacancy in House District 18 Will Be Filled

By Reagan Knopp

On Monday, Vic Gilliam announced he would be resigning as State Representative for House District 18. The resignation became effective February 1st. Oregon’s Secretary of State has just released a guidance document which will govern the appointment process. Here are the highlights:

  • The vacancy must be filled within 30 days of the resignation (March 3, 2017)
  • The Secretary of State (SOS) will notify Oregon Republican Party (ORP) Chair Bill Currier of the vacancy
  • Per ORP Bylaws, Chair Currier is empowered to appoint a special chairman as well as the date, place, and time where House District (HD) 18 Republican Percent Committee Persons (PCPs) will meet. This meeting must occur within 20 days of the vacancy (February 21, 2017).
  • HD 18 PCPs must choose no fewer than three and no more than five candidates to fill the vacancy.
  • Nominees must have lived in the district for 1 year, been a registered republican for 180 days, and have signed form SEL 145 stating they would accept the nomination.
  • The ORP must notify the SOS in writing of the candidates nominated.
  • If the ORP fails to present a list of three to five candidates, the Clackamas and Marion County Commissions may appoint any qualified Republican and are not limited by any list presented by the ORP
  • The SOS coordinates with the Clackamas and Marion County Commissions on the time and place of the joint appointment meeting
  • Each county is allowed one vote for each 1,000 voters living in HD 18 in their county. Clackamas County gets 20 votes (20,324 voters) and Marion County gets 25 votes (25,042 voters)
  • Each individual Clackamas County Commissioner (5) will receive 4 votes (20/5), and each of Marion County’s Commissioners (3) will receive 8 and 1/3 votes (25/3)
  • The person who receives the most votes will be appointed
  • If the commissions do not fill the vacancy within 30 days, the Governor can appoint someone within 10 days.

Some speculated that the Independent Party of Oregon might be allowed to either jointly nominate candidates with Republicans or present their own list of three to five candidates for appointment. Page four of the guidance document contains a letter from Secretary Richardson citing legislative intent and the appointment process used when Senator Jackie Dingfelder’s replacement was chosen in 2013.