A June 13, 2017 editorial from the Eugene Register Guard argued that the position of Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries should be appointed, not elected.
Here was the first comment on the editorial:
“As a County Commissioner and Democrat in mostly Republican Eastern Oregon: I appreciate the nonpartisan status of the position.
As someone who is likely to file for the Labor Commissioner race, I also point out that having an appointed Commissioner, in a state that’s drifting toward one-party dominance, for the next decade, doesn’t necessarily make sense. That’s just one more way to insulate the administrative levers from inside the ballot box. As an example, I’m sure the wrongheaded pursuit of Happy Cakes by Commissioner Avakian has helped create an open election for Labor Commissioner: allowing voters to send a message about whether we want BOLI or Bully.”
Mr. Howard is a Commissioner for Union County, and a lawyer. Elective office experience, County executive experience and experience interpreting the law is a good set of skills for labor Commissioner, where budgeting legal interpretation and quasi judicial experience is required.
From an interview available online (skip to the 5:50 mark if you want to get to the meat and potatoes of Mr. Howards political philosophy), we find that Mr. Howard is a Democrat whose heart in the 2016 POTUS election was with John Kasich but in the Democratic primary supported Bernie Sanders. He has an interesting take on political processes. One that seems to borrow from behavioral psychology.
If Mr. Howard were to enter the race for labor Commissioner, and a viable Republican candidate were also to enter, it would mean a three way race in May including the already announced Ms. Val Hoyle. Since labor Commissioner is a non partisan race, if no candidate received at least 50% plus one vote in May, then the top two would face off in the November general election.