By Brian P. Halvorsen, Independent Candidate Oregon House District 32
If you want to make a difference in your community by running for office time is running out to file for the 2018 elections in Oregon.
Potential candidates have until March 6 to file with the election official that corresponds with their race. For statewide races, candidates must file with the Oregon Secretary of State. In county-wide races the county clerk is responsible for certifying candidates for the ballot, but if you want to run for a city-wide election your town will have a designated election official you have to file with.
Unfortunately for everyday people, the filing process can be difficult to navigate. Arguably that is on purpose to help protect incumbent politicians and upstart candidates, who are able to afford to pay an expert to help understand the complications of election law. Fortunately the Oregon Secretary of State website has set up a how-to on running for office which you may find helpful: http://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Pages/runforoffice.aspxI’d urge anyone who is troubled by what is happening politically to take a serious look at running for office. Now is the time to get active — not apathetic. We need new people — particularly those underrepresented in our current political landscape like young people, people of color, women and LGBTQ people — to get involved in our communities in all levels to of government.
If you’re not sure what office you’d be suited for, I’d suggest evaluating your skills and the issues your passionate about. If you want to see something done locally, like building a new park or increasing access to programs for the youth and elderly, you’d likely be a great candidate in a city-wide race. If lofty political reforms are more your speed, I’d recommend looking at a county or state-wide race.
Understandably many of us can’t envision ourselves as politicians. You may work a job or have responsibilities that make it impossible to dedicate the time necessary to serving in public office. But if you know someone that would be a good candidate and has the time to put aside to run for office and serve the public, please urge them to explore a run.
We can’t sit on the sidelines anymore and let incumbent politicians, who are too often bought through campaign donations by the wealthy and big business, continue to go unchallenged. As author James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Brian P. Halvorsen is an Independent Candidate for Oregon House of Representatives District 32 (Tillamook and Clatsop counties) for more information see www.brianfororegonhouse.com