Merkley seeking to change Oregon law so he can run for president and Senate in 2020: report

Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is quietly lobbying Oregon state lawmakers to change a law that would prevent him for running for president in 2020 and reelection to the Senate at the same time, according to the Willamette Week.

Oregon Revised Statutes 249.013 states that “A person may not be a candidate for more than one lucrative office to be filled at the same election,” meaning Merkley would have to give up his Senate seat to run for president in the upcoming cycle.

{mosads}Merkley, who was speaker of the Oregon House in 2007, may reach into his reserve of support in the chamber to try to change the law, according to Willamette Week. But the more conservative state Senate may not be so willing to go along with the plan. 

Merkley’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

“Sen. Merkley has been approached by Oregonians who have expressed interest in changing the law,” Merkley spokesman Ray Zaccaro told Willamette Week. “He agrees this is something that should be addressed.”

New Jersey passed a law earlier this month allowing any U.S. senator or member of the U.S. House from the Garden State to appear on both the primary general election for their respective office in addition to the presidency. The move was widely seen as paving the way for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to run for president in 2020 as well as for reelection to the Senate should he fall short.

Should Merkely decide to run, he would likely join a crowded field packed with higher profile names, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Booker and more.

Tags Bernie Sanders Cory Booker Elizabeth Warren Jeff Merkley Joe Biden
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