Oregon to Begin Process of Filling Kruse's Senate Seat

Mar 13, 2018

Oregon is set to begin the process of temporarily filling a Senate seat after Senator Jeff Kruse’s resignation on Thursday.

The five counties making up District 1 will have a month to choose an interim senator who will serve until the general election in November.

Kruse is resigning after an investigation found he had a history of inappropriately touching female colleagues at the legislature. The Republican senator from Roseburg is leaving two years into his four-year term.

The district is made up of parts of Douglas, Coos, Curry, Jackson, and Josephine counties. Commissioners from each county will vote on candidates selected by local party workers. Each commissioner will have an allotted number of votes depending on the number of registered voters in their county.

Douglas County voters make up most of the district, so its three commissioners are likely to have the most votes. 

Representative Dallas Heard, of Myrtle Creek, says he plans on running for the interim Senate seat. Douglas County Commissioner Gary Leif is running for Heard’s House seat in the primary election.

Steve Trout, the Elections Division Director at Oregon's Secretary of State's office, said the state will announce how many votes each county commissioner will get Friday morning.

Precinct committee people from all five counties will meet in Coquille on March 24 to pick a handful of candidates.