Who’s filed to run for Salem, county offices as deadline approaches

In May, Salemites will elect a majority of the city council and get a say in candidates for Marion and Polk county offices, including commissioners.

The deadline to file for city and county offices is Tuesday, March 12.

Nonpartisan races, which include Salem city council and mayor, as well as many county offices, are typically settled during the primary election on May 21. 

If one candidate gets at least 50% plus one of all votes cast, only that candidate’s name appears on the November ballot. Close races or races with more than two candidates may lead to runoffs in November.

To appear on the ballot, city of Salem candidates must turn in enough signatures to qualify by 4 p.m. March 12. Mayoral candidates need 200 validated signatures, and city council candidates need 50. 

County races do not require signatures.

To file to run for office, candidates can find forms on the city website, Marion County website and Polk County website.

The city recommends prospective candidates schedule an interview with the City Recorder by emailing [email protected] or calling 503-588-6097.

Here’s a look at who’s filed so far for Salem, Marion and Polk county offices.

Mayor – city of Salem

The term for Mayor is two years, and requires residency within city limits at least a year before the election and being a registered voter. 

The mayor is an unpaid volunteer who presides over the city council.

Four candidates have filed to run for mayor as of March 6. They include:

-Mayor Chris Hoy, who is running for reelection. As of Tuesday he was the only candidate so far who has submitted the qualifying 200 verified signatures to run, according to the city recorder’s office. Hoy retired from his role as Undersheriff in Clackamas County in 2019.

-City Councilor Julie Hoy, no relation, announced her campaign for mayor in November. Hoy owns Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant. 

Julie Hoy’s ward 6 seat is not up for election. If she’s elected mayor, her council seat would become vacant, and a majority of the council could appoint a successor to serve the rest of her term, which ends Dec. 31, 2026.

Michael Lee, the former owner of All State Installations, an office furniture installation business, according to his filing form. 

-Clifford Eiffler-Rodriguez, a customer experience representative for Roth Home has filed to run. Last year, he settled an excessive force lawsuit against the city of Salem and three police officers, alleging officers shot him with crowd control munitions and then tackled and wrongfully arrested him during a 2021 protest outside Planned Parenthood near the North Lancaster neighborhood. 

Salem City Council

City councilors represent a specific area of the city, called a ward, and voters only vote for the councilor in their ward. Terms on the city council are four years, unpaid, and require at least year’s residence within the ward. 

Ward 1

Celine Coleman has filed to run for ward 1, and has submitted enough signatures to qualify. Coleman currently works as an epidemiologist, according to her application and filing form.

Councilor Virginia Stapleton is running for reelection, and has submitted at least 50 signatures to qualify. Stapleton currently serves as city council president.

Ward 3

Shane Matthews, a Realtor who serves on the Citizen Review Board for the Oregon Justice Department has filed to run, and has submitted the required signatures as of Tuesday.

Nathan Soltz, who has been the chief of staff for state Sen. Lew Frederick since 2019, has filed to run. He’s also the secretary of the Morningside Neighborhood Association. Current Councilor Trevor Phillips has endorsed his campaign. 

Ward 5

Hamadi Jackson, a community health outreach worker and chair of the city’s human rights commission, has filed to run.

Michael Hoselton, a paralegal and board member of the Northgate Neighborhood Association, has filed to run. 

Dr. Irvin Brown, a policy advisor for the Oregon Department of Human Services, has filed to run. Brown has served on various local committees, including the Marion County Sheriff’s Community Advisory Committee, the Salem City Budget Committee and the city’s Equity Roundtable Committee.

Ward 7

City Councilor Vanessa Nordyke has filed to run for reelection, and has submitted the required signatures to qualify. She is running unopposed as of Wednesday.

Marion County positions

County elected officials work full-time and receive a salary from the county. County positions are four-year terms and require a $50 filing fee, but have no minimum signature requirement to get on the ballot.

Commissioner, Position 3

The seat is partisan, and voters in May will decide on a candidate to represent their political party.

Commissioner Danielle Bethell has filed to run as a Republican. As of Wednesday, no one has filed to oppose her for the Republican nomination. Bethell was elected to the position in 2020.

Nobody has filed seeking the seat as a Democrat, or for any other political party. The winner of each party’s primary goes on to the general election in November.


Marion County Sheriff Nick Hunter, who was appointed in June 2023, is running unopposed as of March 1. Hunter has worked with the sheriff’s office for 15 years, and completed the term of former Joe Kast who retired before his term ended.


Marion County Assessor Tom Rohlfing is running unopposed. The position evaluates all properties in the county including commercial, industrial, residential, farms, forests and more. The department also maintains records on property taxes and manages exemption programs.

County clerk

Three people have filed to run for Marion County Clerk. The position manages elections, licensing and the county’s records. Those who have filed include incumbent Bill Burgess, Jo Anne Lepley and Anna Munson. Lepley is the current county deputy clerk for elections. Munson is retired and has previously worked in the county elections office.

Polk County positions

County positions are four years, and elected officials receive a salary or stipend from the county.

Commissioner, Position 1

Polk County’s commissioners are nonpartisan.

Incumbent Lyle Mordhorst, a retired former manager at Les Schwab Tires, has filed to run for re-election. He was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in January 2019 and lives in unincorporated Polk County outside west Salem.

Roxanne Beltz of Monmouth has filed to run against Mordhorst. She is the former transportation operations program coordinator at Cherriots and a Monmouth City Councilor.


Current Treasurer Steve Milligan is seeking re-election. Milligan was elected in 2020 and is currently suing Polk County, saying the county bars him from actually doing the treasurer’s job.

Chris Patoine, current chair of the Polk County Planning Commission, has filed to run.

Other offices

Polk County Assessor Valerie Patoine, Polk County Clerk Kim Williams and Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton have all filed for re-election. None have any challengers.

Managing Editor Rachel Alexander contributed reporting.

CORRECTION: Roxanne Beltz is the former, not current, transportation operations program coordinator at Cherriots. Lyle Mordhorst has retired from his job at Les Schwab. Salem Reporter apologizes for the errors.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-575-1251.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.