Lou Ogden endorsed by Oregon State Chamber of Commerce
BOLI race continues to heat up, endorsement signals small businesses want change
TUALATIN, Ore. — The Oregon State Chamber of Commerce yesterday announced Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden has earned their endorsement to be Oregon’s next commissioner for the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). With ballots being mailed next week and the primary election nearing an end, political observers have noted the BOLI race appears to be heating up as the commissioner position is an open seat for the first time in nearly a decade.
“I truly appreciate the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce weighing in with their support for my candidacy. Oregonians know prosperity has not been shared evenly in our state. We need to ensure BOLI takes a lead in closing the skills-trade gap and rethinks its mission to include more technical support to small businesses,” Ogden said. “I am the only candidate in the race who has earned balanced, bipartisan support from elected leaders, businesses and members of community organizations. This endorsement is a key signal that Oregonians are ready for change.”
The BOLI commissioner position is the only statewide elected office where candidates run as non-partisan candidates. Three candidates have turned thrown their name in the ring for the position. Ogden has served as a non-partisan mayor for nearly 24 years and has earned the endorsement of city and county leaders from across Oregon and across the political spectrum. Ogden believes this is because one of his opponents, former Democratic Majority Leader Val Hoyle, has been largely funded by unions and left-leaning special interest groups and out-of-state political action committees.
“For ten years, BOLI has been led by a hyper-partisan activist who was using the position as a stepping stone to higher office. People aren’t looking for Brad Avakian 2.0 for the next Commissioner,” Ogden added.
Ogden, who has been energetically touring the state talking to voters and local businesses, thanked the Chamber for their support.
The OSCC board is comprised of local chambers of commerce from communities across Oregon. They represent thousands of the smallest businesses in the state.
“Lou's record of pro-business policies made him the top choice for OSCC,” said OSCC Government Affairs Council Chair Laura Edmonds. “In his current role as mayor of Tualatin, he has proven that he is supportive of business and jobs. It’s clear that he is aware of the disconnect that currently exists in BOLI between the agency and local businesses and we appreciate his desire to rebuild trust with the business community.”
OSCC said they endorsed Ogden for his pro-business record, including his history as a volunteer leader in local government for over 25 years. The chamber also noted his leadership in bringing $3 billion in private investment and 34,000 local jobs in Tualatin, which has about 27,000 residents. In their announcement OSCC highlighted Ogden’s pledge to make business and industry an equal partner at BOLI for the first time in decades.
“We need to end the idea of BOLI being a bully, and give industries an equal voice in our state,” Ogden added. “Oregonians can’t afford another four years with a self-serving Labor Commissioner who’s busy plotting their next political campaign instead of working to support our small businesses. The status quo is no longer acceptable if our goal is to solve real problems like getting workers into family-wage jobs and out of poverty. Our next Commissioner needs to be focused on serving the people, not themselves.”
OSCC also noted that Hoyle's extreme voting record in the state legislature was riddled with a pattern of votes that hurt small businesses. Hoyle had a 38-percent OSCC voting record, which was cited as grounds for failing their vetting process for an endorsement.
Unlike other statewide offices, BOLI could be decided by May 15 for any candidate who achieves over 50 percent of the vote. The race is solidly between Ogden and Hoyle as candidate Jack Howard failed to put forth a voter pamphlet statement.
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