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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.

Field Growing In Oregon Secretary Of State Race
Val Hoyle
File photo of state Representative Val Hoyle. The Democrat has entered the race for Oregon secretary of state.

The most competitive race on next May's primary ballot in Oregon is shaping up to be for secretary of state. A third Democrat entered the field Thursday.

Val Hoyle is a state representative who served as the head of the House Democratic caucus in the 2015 session. She joins a field that includes Democratic state Senator Richard Devlin and state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.

On the Republican side, Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken is so far the only GOP contender.

Current Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins was appointed to the office in March after the former secretary, Kate Brown, became governor in the wake of John Kitzhaber’s resignation. Atkins said at the time that she did not intend to seek a full term.

The Oregon secretary of state is the state's chief elections officer. The office holder also oversees the state's audits division, archives, and business licensing.

Hoyle, Devlin and Avakian are scheduled to take part in a debate this Sunday at a Democratic Party of Oregon summit in Sunriver.