Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler's move into the seat of Oregon State Treasurer has triggered a wave of filings that is sure to shake up the County Commission.
Wheeler was appointed in the wake of Treasurer Ben Westlund's death from cancer this past weekend.
Wheeler announced Tuesday morning that he has already withdrawn his bid for re-election to the County chair's seat and filed for election as State Treasurer.
In response to that news, current County Commissioner Jeff Cogan and former Sen. Margaret Carter (above, singing to guests at the Rose Garden the night President Barack Obama was elected) have all filed for appointment to the Chair's position. Americans for Prosperity candidate and Mike Darger, an insurance salesman, had already filed for the race.
Political consultant and sometime-candidate Steve Novick is rumored to be filing but despite already creating a Facebook page for his campaign, his name does not appear on the county elections filing records as of 12:30 p.m. today.
As a result of Cogan's filing, Wheeler staff member Karol Collymore, former commissioner and state representative Gary Hansen and Rev. Chuck Currie have filed bids for his seat.
"It is with conflicted emotions that I accept Gov. Kulongoski's appointment to the office of Oregon State Treasurer," Wheeler said in a statement this morning.
He said that taking the Treasurer's seat on an interim basis requires him to resign as of Thursday, March 11. He has chosen Chief Operating Officer Jana McLellan to become acting chair, and the County Commission will drive the process to choose an interim county chair to serve until the end of 2010.
The candidates who have filed for the newly-opened commission seats will be on the May 18 primary election ballot.