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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Treasurer Can't Seek Re-election

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Oregon State Treasury

Oregon's attorney general issued an opinion this week that says Democrat Ted Wheeler is not eligible to win election to a second four-year term.

That's thanks to an unusual sequence of events that landed Wheeler in office in the first place.

It started when Wheeler's predecessor, Ben Westlund, died in office less than halfway through his term. Wheeler was appointed to replace Westlund. Then Wheeler was elected to a two-year term. And then Wheeler was elected to a four-year term.

The problem, from a timing standpoint, is that if Wheeler were elected to another four years, he'd run afoul of Oregon's term limits law halfway through his term. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says that's a no-no. So basically Wheeler will be out of a job in 2016 despite not having actually served eight years in office.

Wheeler is alone among state treasurers in the Northwest. The top financial officials in Washington and Idaho do not face term limits. In fact, Idaho treasurer Ron Crane is seeking a fifth consecutive term in this November's election.