Oregon state politics are seemingly in utter chaos after it was revealed that a group of GOP lawmakers who led a six-week walkout are no longer eligible for reelection.
According to Fox News, Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade announced this week that the Republican lawmakers behind the walk-out will not be able to run again when their terms end in 2024.
The decision was based on upholding a 2022 law, called Measure 113, that disqualifies lawmakers from seeking reelection after "more than 10 unexcused absences from the legislative session will not be eligible for re-election."
"It is clear voters intended Measure 113 to disqualify legislators from running for re-election if they had 10 or more unexcused absences in a legislative session," Griffin-Valade said in her statement.
She added, "My decision honors the voters’ intent by enforcing the measure the way it was commonly understood when Oregonians added it to our state constitution."
Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade announced that 6 Republican senators who participated in a walkout during the 2023 legislative session may not run for reelection in 2024.
GOP legislators pledged to fight the decision in court. https://t.co/sxjBSRX10d
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) August 10, 2023
The punishment for racking up enough absences means a lawmaker cannot run "for the term following the election after the member’s current term is completed."
State Republicans have argued that a technicality exists that would, in fact, allow them to run in the next election.
Fox News noted:
Some Republican lawmakers say the language in Measure 113 does allow for re-election in such cases, suggesting the language means they are eligible to contest the 2024 elections because their current terms conclude in January 2025. They say this means they are disqualified from running after their next term expires.
According to The Epoch Times, this is the first time the Oregon rule has been used, but Republicans vow to fight it in court.
"We believe the plain language of Measure 113 allows for members to run again in 2024 elections," State Senate GOP leader Tim Knopp said in a statement. "We disagree with the Secretary of State’s determination and will challenge it in court.”
State Republicans also called into question the tallying process, and took issue with the Democrat who conducts the process.
"The Senate President has sole authority in determining whether an absence is unexcused and does not need to give any form of explanation," Rep. Kopp wrote.
Only time will tell if state Republicans prevail in their fight. Several have already vowed to run for reelection regardless of the new measure.