Hoy declares victory in mayor’s race as Griggs concedes

Chris Hoy speaks with campaign volunteers while canvassing for mayor on Saturday, April 23, 2022 (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)

This story was updated with statements from both candidates.

Chris Hoy has declared victory in his campaign to be Salem’s next mayor following an updated vote count Thursday.

Hoy, 56, the Salem city council president, had 55% of 28,971 votes cast following an updated ballot tally by Marion and Polk counties Thursday afternoon.

Chane Griggs, 67, the city’s planning commission chair and Hoy’s opponent in the race, conceded to him Thursday evening following the latest count.

“It’s all just kind of sinking in right now. I’ve literally not let myself believe it even though the numbers looked really good,” Hoy told Salem Reporter Thursday evening.

Because city races are nonpartisan, they’re typically settled during the May primary rather than in November. If one candidate gets at least 50% plus one of all votes cast, only that candidate’s name appears on the November ballot. While a write-in candidate could in theory be elected, successful write-in campaigns are rare.

Hoy would take office in January 2023 with newly-elected city councilors for a four-year term.

Hoy was backed by labor unions representing rank-and-file state and city workers, though not police and fire employees, who endorsed Griggs. He also drew support from fellow progressive Democrats on the city council.

He was first elected to the council in 2017 and has also served as a state representative after being appointed in December to finish out Rep. Brian Clem’s term.

Hoy campaigned on the work he’s done on the council to address homelessness, including spearheading a safe parking program where churches and businesses can register to host people living in their vehicles. He said despite frustration with the homelessness crisis in Salem, city programs are working, but many are relatively new and will take time to bear fruit.

Hoy said he’ll spend the time before he takes office continuing his work to address homelessness and other city issues.

“It’ll be a productive time, and while I’m not the mayor yet I’m the council president so I have access and influence and I will continue to use that,” he said.

He released a statement to supporters Thursday evening.

“I want to thank the voters for entrusting me with the great honor of electing me as the next mayor of Salem. I am looking forward to continuing my service to the residents of Salem as mayor and want to build on the tremendous progress we’ve made over the past five years,” the statement read. “Salem has an incredible community spirit, and I can’t wait to work with Salem’s residents in this new capacity as we build an active, thriving community that cares for its people and environment. I’m committed to listening to a diversity of opinions as our community continues to grow.”

He thanked Griggs for her service to the community, and the volunteers who supported his campaign.

Griggs posted a statement on her campaign Facebook page Thursday evening.

“I want to thank the Salem community for the tremendous support throughout this campaign. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities to connect with you all and further the dialogue on the issues we face today,” Griggs’ statement read. “Of course, I am disappointed that the election didn’t go our way, but respect the will of the voters to the highest degree. I have called Chris and wished him well in his service to our City as Mayor and hope he can bring positive change.”

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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