Four people are vying to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Diego Hernandez, whose resignation from the state Legislature becomes effective later this month.
After months of harassment allegations, followed by an investigation into wrongdoing, a week of public emotional legislative hearings, a lawsuit and finally, the threat of becoming the first person to be expelled from the state Legislature, embattled Democratic lawmaker Hernandez resigned from the state Legislature last month. His resignation is effective on March 15.
The four candidates who hope to replace him include some familiar names; Robin Castro, who ran for Portland City Council in 2020; Adrienne Enghouse, a nurse who also tried to fill the seat in the senate vacated by now Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, Cayle Tern, who works in human services, and Andrea Valderrama, a policy director for ACLU of Oregon.
Valderrama is perhaps the most familiar name. She has a long history with Rep. Hernandez, having filed a restraining order against him in Multnomah County Circuit Court last year, reported by Willamette Week. The restraining order was later withdrawn. She also ran for a Portland City Council seat in 2018 and chairs the David Douglas School Board.
Precinct committee people will now vote on the candidates and ballots will be tabulated on March 15. The results will be sent to Multnomah County commissioners who will pick the person selected to fill out the remainder of Hernandez’s term.
“The Oregon Legislature is just over one month into a critical five-month-long Legislative Session, and is working hard to respond to the many crises facing our state,” said Democratic Party of Oregon Chair Carla “K.C.” Hanson in a press statement. “It is important that we are ready to promptly fill a legislative vacancy, so that the people of House District 47 are represented in the Oregon House throughout this Session.”