Since politics isn't always played fairly, occasionally I'll hear of a candidate who enters a race because they have the last name of a popular politician of the opposite party and want to fool voters into casting a ballot for them. Julie Hoy and Chris Hoy
But here in Salem, Oregon, a not-so-sleepy city of about 180,000 people, we're going to have a race for Mayor in 2024 that features two Hoys: Chris Hoy, the progressive incumbent, and Julie Hoy, the conservative challenger.
It would have been cool if Julie and Chris were related, but they're not. However, they're "related" in this sense. In 2022 Julie won Chris' Ward 6 City Council seat after Chris first ran for Mayor, which I theorized in a blog post sounded like the last name political dirty trick noted above.
Julie Hoy and Stacey Vieyra-Braendle are the candidates seeking to fill Chris Hoy's seat. I could be completely wrong about this, but it seems strange that an unrelated Hoy just happens to hope to replace Chris Hoy.
This is the sort of thing Republicans would do. So I'll indulge my conspiracy theory mind and theorize that Julie Hoy leans conservative. I know nothing about Vieyra-Braendle. If she turns out to be conservative, I wouldn't be all that surprised, but for now I'm guessing she's the more liberal candidate.
I learned about the Hoy vs. Hoy matchup in a Salem Reporter story, "Julie Hoy will challenge Chris Hoy as Salem's Mayor."
Salem City Councilor Julie Hoy announced Tuesday that she will run for mayor in 2024 against incumbent Chris Hoy, setting up a competition between two city leaders who share the same last name but are often at odds over city spending and public safety.
Councilor Hoy said she chose to run because she believes Salem is in crisis.
“I see things differently, maybe because I’m a business owner and a mom, but I feel a tremendous amount of need for public safety and a sense of security that I believe is missing,” she said. “And that will be hard for me to do anything about from a minority position on council.”
She represents ward 6, in east Salem, which Chris Hoy represented before being elected mayor in 2022. The two are not related.
Julie Hoy said that the payroll tax was a major reason she chose to run, and where she showed she is consistent in her messaging and decisions when she felt the city was not giving voters enough information about plans.
She was one of four councilors who voted in July against imposing a tax without sending it to voters, and tried unsuccessfully to repeal the tax ahead of the November election after voters referred the measure to the ballot.
Voters rejected the tax decisively, with 82% opposed.
Chris Hoy was a strong supporter of the payroll tax. So it will be interesting to see whether voters hold that against him, given that the tax was favored by only 18% of the electorate.
That may partly depend on how Mayor Hoy, the City Manager, and the City Council approach another try at convincing voters to approve more money for the City of Salem.
Another Salem Reporter story that included news (seriously consider subscribing, if you haven't already) about the formation of a revenue task force indicates that city officials are acting more wisely this time around. One reason the payroll tax suffered such a massive defeat was that those officials had an annoying attitude of We know best, so we're not going to put the tax up for a vote of the people.
That backfired big time when opponents of the payroll tax had little problem gathering enough signatures on a petition that required the tax be on the November 2023 ballot. But the Salem Reporter story shows that city officials appear to have learned some things from that 82% opposed debacle.
The council met on Oct. 25 to discuss forming the [revenue] task force, and directed staff to prioritize community engagement and a wide range of perspectives.
Consultant group Moss Adams will manage the task force, and will collaborate with city staff and the council to identify revenue options and the pros, cons and risks of them. The group prepared a scope of work plan that outlines the next several months.
Moss Adams’ fees will cost the city $120,000, and city staff do not have the capacity to facilitate the task force without the consultants, Eggleston said.
City staff also recommend working with community engagement consultants Parachute Strategies, who would cost $55,000 and polling from DHM that would cost $45,000.
Community engagement will include eight focus groups, one per council district, community surveys and three town halls, according to Moss Adams.
If all that goes well, and enough of it happens before the May 2024 election for Mayor, Chris Hoy will have an easier time with his campaign, since by and large, his progressive views are more in tune with those of Salem voters than the conservative stances of Julie Hoy.