City News

Here’s who qualified for the Salem city ballot

It’s official: Salem’s next mayor will be a Hoy.

Following Tuesday’s filing deadline to run for local offices, two prospective mayoral candidates failed to get enough verified signatures to qualify for the ballot. That leaves the race between two unrelated east Salem residents: Mayor Chris Hoy and city Councilor Julie Hoy.

Clifford Eiffler-Rodriguez, who filed to run for mayor and turned in signatures, did not meet the threshold to qualify for the ballot.

He said he gathered 218 signatures mostly in Salem apartment complexes and at the farmer’s market. Though most ended up not being validated due to the signer’s address or voter registration status, he said each one represented a conversation from someone hoping to see better for Salem.

“Not being able to run for mayor doesn’t stop that need,” he said.

During the campaign season, Eiffler-Rodriguez said he hopes to see the candidates address housing development, cuts to community services like the library and the absence of public pools, and right-wing extremism in the community.

He said he has no immediate plans to run again.

Here’s who will appear on the ballot, according to the city recorder’s office.

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.

Chris Hoy is running for reelection after winning the seat in 2022. He previously served on the city council representing ward 6, east Salem. Hoy retired from his role as Undersheriff in Clackamas County in 2019.

Julie Hoy, no relation, announced her campaign for mayor in November. Hoy owns Geppetto’s Italian Restaurant. She currently represents ward 6 on the council and was elected in 2022.

Julie Hoy’s council seat is not up for election this year. 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.

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 a year’s residence within the ward. 

Ward 1

Celine Coleman, who currently works as an epidemiologist, according to her application and filing form.

Paul Tigan, a former city budget committee member. Tigan is a vice president at Metropolitan Group, a Portland-based creative firm working on environmental and social causes, according to the company website.

Councilor Virginia Stapleton qualified for the ballot, but intends to withdraw from the race because she is seeking the Democratic nomination for House District 21. She’ll challenge Republican Rep. Kevin Mannix for the seat representing north Salem and Keizer. Stapleton currently serves as city council president and has endorsed Tigan in the council race.

Ward 3

Shane Matthews, a Realtor who serves on the Citizen Review Board for the Oregon Justice Department.

Nathan Soltz, who has been the chief of staff for state Sen. Lew Frederick since 2019. He’s also the secretary of the Morningside Neighborhood Association.

Current Councilor Trevor Phillips is not seeking re-election and has endorsed Soltz. 

Ward 5

Michael Hoselton, a paralegal and board member of the Northgate Neighborhood Association.

Dr. Irvin Brown, a policy advisor for the Oregon Department of Human Services. 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.

Current Councilor Jose Gonzalez is not seeking re-election.

Ward 7

City Councilor Vanessa Nordyke is seeking re-election and running unopposed.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.

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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.