Val Hoyle, Oregon's next BOLI Commissioner
Val Hoyle, Oregon's next BOLI Commissioner (Photo: Oregon1)

In a vic­to­ry for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty of Ore­gon, vot­ers in the Beaver State have decid­ed to keep the office of Com­mis­sion­er of the Bureau of Labor and Indus­tries (which is a non­par­ti­san posi­tion) in pro­gres­sive hands by elect­ing Val Hoyle.

“I am hon­ored that the vot­ers of Ore­gon had faith in my mes­sage to show up for work­ing peo­ple, fam­i­lies and jobs,” Hoyle said fol­low­ing her victory.

“Ore­go­ni­ans have cho­sen a true cham­pi­on for work­ers in Val Hoyle as Labor Com­mis­sion­er,” said Demo­c­ra­t­ic Chair Jeanne Atkins. “She has a his­to­ry of stand­ing up for Ore­go­ni­ans and fight­ing for jus­tice. Despite her oppo­nents’ attempt to smear her char­ac­ter and dis­tort her posi­tions, vot­ers saw through it and chose the best can­di­date for the seat. I am glad, but not sur­prised, to see her win out­right and look for­ward to work­ing with her on the cam­paign trail in the com­ing months.”

Hoyle had been locked in an unex­pect­ed­ly close race with Repub­li­can Lou Ogden, the may­or of Tulatin, which is a sub­urb of Port­land. But she was able to prevail.

Had Hoyle not gar­nered more than fifty per­cent of the vote, the con­test would have head­ed to a runoff. But with a major­i­ty secured, the cam­paign can come to an end.

Incum­bent Com­mis­sion­er Brad Avi­akin opt­ed not to seek reelec­tion this year, which meant the posi­tion was an open seat. Democ­rats in Ore­gon made elect­ing Hoyle a top pri­or­i­ty in this mon­th’s pri­ma­ry elec­tion, vow­ing to hold on to the office.

Hoyle, the for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic Major­i­ty Leader in the Ore­gon State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, left the Leg­is­la­ture last cycle when she ran for Sec­re­tary of State. Her cam­paign was unsuc­cess­ful, how­ev­er, and Lane Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­ers passed her over when a State Sen­ate vacan­cy came open in the Eugene area.

But now she is set to rep­re­sent Ore­go­ni­ans as their Com­mis­sion­er of Labor and Indus­tries, after hav­ing fend­ed off a chal­lenge from Ogden.

Elec­tion Night Results for Bureau of Labor & Indus­tries Commissioner

  • Lou Ogden (Sup­port­ed by the Repub­li­can Par­ty: 35.34% (193,615 votes)
  • Val Hoyle (Sup­port­ed by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty): 51.62% (282,802 votes)
  • Jack Howard: 12.66% (69,341 votes)
  • Write-in can­di­dates: 0.39% (2,130 votes)

Total votes: 547,888

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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