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Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian Won't Seek Re-Election


Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian won’t seek re-election in 2018.  

The state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries published a letter Tuesday from Avakian announcing his departure.

“Although I will not be seeking a new term in 2018, I am incredibly grateful for the experience to lead this bureau and help fulfill its critical mission,” Avakian wrote in the letter.

News of Avakian’s departure was first reported by the Oregonian.

He did not give a reason for his departure from the office, but told the Oregonian he is “keeping his plans open” for the future.

Avakian has served as the state’s labor commissioner for more than nine years.

During that time, Avakian has often pursued cases that revolved around civil rights. Those included helping obtain military burial rights in a national cemetery for a same-sex couple, and a $2 million settlement over alleged racial discrimination at Daimler Trucks.  

Avakian lost a high-profile election in 2016 for the Secretary of State’s Office to Republican Dennis Richardson. It was the first time in more than a decade that an Oregon Democrat had lost a race for statewide office.

Avakian’s departure opens up a second statewide race in the 2018 election. Gov. Kate Brown’s position will also go before voters that November.

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