In Short

Oregon secretary of state releases primary candidate names, though they could change

By: - January 16, 2024 3:22 pm

Oregon's primary is May 21. (Lynne Terry/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Oregon’s secretary of state released an initial list of candidates who will appear on the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries —  including former President Donald Trump, whose ballot status is before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tuesday’s announcement comes a day after Trump swept the Iowa caucuses, the first such vote this year. Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade said it’s standard policy to release candidate names at this point in the election process. Oregon’s primary is May 21.

“The 2024 primary election is just four months away,” Griffin-Valade said. 


Oregonians who’ve moved, changed their names or want to check their registration status can go to The state’s motor voter law automatically registers residents through the Department of Motor Vehicles. But they have to designate affiliation with a party to vote in the primaries. Voters have to register by April 30 either electronically, through a postmark or in person. The primary is May 21.

She said the preliminary Democratic candidates are President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and self-help author and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson.

The Republican candidates are Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. 

Following Monday’s vote in Iowa, Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out of the race, as did former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also dropped out last week. New Hampshire will hold its primary next Tuesday

Groups trying to oust Trump from ballots across the country asked the Oregon secretary of state last year to take him off the Oregon primary ballot under the 14th Amendment. It bars anyone from holding office who “engaged in insurrection” after previously swearing to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Griffin-Valade said in November she lacked the authority to do that, based on advice from the Oregon Department of Justice. In December, a group of Oregon voters asked the Oregon Supreme Court to remove Trump, but the court has deferred to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on Feb. 8 in an appeal of a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to remove Trump from the ballot.

Griffin-Valade indicated in her release that the candidates on the ballot could change. She said she will issue a final list after Oregon’s filing deadline has passed on March 12.

“Names will be removed from the list if a candidate suspends their campaign or otherwise publicly announces that they are no longer running for president in the 2024 election,” Griffin-Valade said.

She has the sole authority to decide who’s on the ballot based on whether candidates are legitimate and covered by the media. 

“To decide if candidates meet the statutory criteria, the secretary is relying on national polls and including all candidates who have the support of a minimum of 1% of party voters,” Griffin-Valade said. 

Candidates can also access the ballot through a nominating petition, which requires the support of 6,000 valid signatures from active members of a candidate’s party. They have to be submitted by Feb. 27.



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Lynne Terry
Lynne Terry

Lynne Terry, who has more than 30 years of journalism experience, is Oregon Capital Chronicle's editor-in-chief. She previously was editor of The Lund Report, a highly regarded health news site; reported on health in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio.