United States Representative Greg Walden, Oregon’s only Congressional Republican, announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2020. Originally, in an interview with Politico, Walden denied speculation that he was considering leaving Congress, and instead said he wanted to help the Republican party gain back power after losing the House Majority, according to OPB. After 20 years of serving in the same seat, and with a strong Republican majority in his Eastern Oregon district, Walden said he was confident he could win the seat again. However, according to AP News, he is leaving to “pursue new challenges and opportunities,” which do not include other political positions. Multiple Republican politicians have stepped forward in considering running for the seat, including Knute Buehler, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018.
U.S. District Judge Michael Simon prevented a new rule by the Trump Administration regarding health insurance requirements for immigrants from going into effect. President Trump had signed a proclamation on Oct. 4., which would deny immigrants visas if they could not prove they could pay for their own medical costs within 30 days of entering the country, either through health insurance or out of pocket costs, according to The Oregonian. A class action lawsuit was filed in Portland’s federal court on Oct. 30 by the Portland-based Innovation Law Lab and the Los Angeles-based Justice Action Center. At the hearing, Simon granted a temporary restraining order, which prevented the rule from going into effect. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 22.
Multnomah County is holding a special election on Nov. 3, with a deadline to drop off ballots at 8 p.m. that day. The election has no candidates or open political seats—instead, there are four city measures to vote on. According to Willamette Week, the lack of political races created a sense of apathy toward the election, which only had a 16% voter turnout as of Nov. 1. Two measures are money-related, one for a Portland Metro bond totalling $475 million, and a five-year levy for Portland Public Schools raising approximately $100 million a year. Both measures would replace existing ones and would not raise property taxes. The other two measures, from Commissioner Amanda Fritz, concern the Water Bureau—one to strengthen protections for the Bull Run Watershed and another that would allow the Water Bureau to fund agreements that would help distribute water to Portlanders in case of an emergency, according to OPB.