It has been no secret that the stakes for this year’s Secretary of State’s race are high. At a time when President Trump and Republican leaders nationwide are calling into question the security of voting by mail —which has helped working Oregonians participate in elections for over 20 years— our state desperately needs a strong advocate for voter enfranchisement. Since she declared her candidacy last February, that advocate has been State Senator Shemia Fagan, who has stood out as a fierce champion for working people throughout a career as an employment lawyer and legislator. This week however, the stakes surrounding the outcome of the SOS race drastically escalated.
In an email blast to supporters on Wednesday, State Senator Kim Thatcher, the Republican SOS nominee, pledged to “Defeat the Unions” in November. Soliciting campaign donations, Senator Thatcher referred to Oregon’s Labor Movement as “the powerful Unions”, followed by an implication that union support is not “grassroots”. This rhetoric mimics that used by groups like the National Right to Work Foundation and ALEC, two of today’s most notable anti-union groups.
BREAKING: Shemia Fagan's opponent for Secretary of State last night vowed to "defeat unions" this November 😠😤
Working Oregonians CANNOT afford to lose this election. Sign up for a phone banking shift now and prove our unions aren't going anywhere: https://oraflcio.org/labor2020
Following the incident, Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor remarked on Senator Thatcher’s anti-union email:
“Senator Thatcher’s disappointing comment demonstrates a clear lack of reverence for working Oregonians. At a time when working people are risking exposure to a deadly pandemic while at work, are being evacuated from their homes due to ongoing wildfires, and are struggling to obtain state or federal unemployment support, unions and our members have been on the frontlines of each crisis, fighting to protect all working families. We need state officials who will expand working people’s rights and protections, not work to erode them.
Oregonians will begin to decide who will succeed Secretary of State Bev Clarno later this month. For up to date voting information, including drop box locations, deadlines, and more, go to https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP ELECT SHEMIA FAGAN AND OTHER PRO-WORKER CANDIDATES THIS ELECTION: