Today KMUZ broke the news that Ward 6 city councilor Chris Hoy will run for Salem Mayor next year. His announcement is at the end of the 20-minute interview.
Hoy joins two women who have already announced their candidacy: Chane Griggs, who appears to be to the right of Hoy politically, and Hollie Oakes-Miller, who definitely is to the left of Hoy politically.
So Hoy occupies a sort of Goldilocks sweet spot in the mayor's race. He'll be criticized by some as being too conservative and by others as being too liberal. Which isn't a bad place to be in, given Salem's moderately leftward tilt.
(Salem went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020.)
Since quite a few people have moved to Salem after Hoy became a city councilor in 2017, I thought it'd be good to recap how this happened. Plus, many voters don't pay much attention to local politics, including, sadly, this blog.
Daniel Benjamin held the Ward 6 city council seat until he resigned in November 2016 following his Facebook sharing of a video showing Black Lives Matter protesters being rammed by cars. That led to an amazing city council meeting in Loucks Auditorium where two hours of public testimony, including three minutes from me, called for an end to racism and bigotry.
A special election to fill Benjamin's seat was held in March 2017. It attracted a lot of interest, since at the time there were only four progressives on the city council. If a progressive won in the special election, that would give them a majority on the nine-member body.
Which was a big deal, since the city council conservatives were determined to keep the Salem River Crossing project, a.k.a. Third Bridge, alive in the face of considerable community opposition.
Hoy won easily in a four-person race, getting 56% of the vote in early results, as I wrote about in "How will Chris Hoy's victory affect the Salem City Council?"
It was a happy night for Salem progressives yesterday. Chris Hoy won the special election for the Ward 6 City Council seat left vacant by Daniel Benjamin's resignation last year.
Hoy's large margin of victory over the other candidates -- including Greggery Peterson, the "establishment" pick endorsed by current Mayor Chuck Bennett and previous Mayor Anna Peterson -- was aided by the enthusiastic support of volunteers from Progressive Salem, who put in a lot of time canvassing for Hoy.
Hoy then ran unopposed for a full four-year term in the May 2018 primary election, not surprisingly getting 100% of the 1,469 ballots case in the race -- not counting 15 write-in votes.
In the KMUZ interview, Hoy was asked if he had any ideas about who would be running to succeed him as the Ward 6 city councilor. He said that he'd heard of several people who are thinking of running and there should be some great candidates for the position.
Hoy also noted that while the interview was his first public announcement that he was running for mayor, this was "the worst kept secret in Salem." Which explains why people already were vying to fill Hoy's seat prior to his announcement.
The Salem Reporter has a story about Hoy entering the mayor's race.