Oregon’s Youngest Elected Official Files to Keep Seat on Oregon City Commision

Oregon City Commissioner Adam Marl, Oregon’s youngest public official and the former manager of the successful campaign to recall then-Mayor Dan Holladay in 2020, filed this week to run in the November election and continue serving the people of Oregon City.

Marl had originally stated his intention not to run upon his appointment to the City Commission in the spring of 2021, but in a statement this week, he said his feelings had changed.

“When I sought appointment to the City Commission last year, it was with the intention of providing stability during a tumultuous time for our city,” he said in an August 30 statement. “We had just recalled our mayor, elected a new one, and were preparing to fill a vacant commission position.

“In light of former Mayor Rachel Lyles Smith’s resignation earlier this year and Commissioner Frank O’Donnell’s recent leave of absence, I have decided that the need for stability in city leadership is not yet over.”

Oregon City voters will elect City Commissioners differently this year due to the passage of Measure 3-583, which was spearheaded by Commissioner Marl and passed in the May primary election with almost 63% of the vote.

The measure eliminated commissioner position numbers and instead creates a system where all City Commission candidates run in the same race and voters select their top two candidates. The two candidates receiving the most votes are then elected.

“As the leading voice on the Commission fighting back against ODOT’s unfair tolling scheme, an advocate for strong public safety, and a lifelong resident of Oregon City concerned with affordability, I believe I am uniquely equipped to continue serving our community on the City Commissio,” Marl said.

“It would be an honor to continue serving the community that has given me so much.”

Marl’s list of initial endorsements includes Oregon City Mayor Denyse McGriff, fellow City Commissioners Rocky Smith and Frank O’Donnell, former mayors Rachel Lyles Smith, Alice Norris, Dan Fowler, and John Williams, and a number of other local civic, school and nonprofit leaders in the Oregon City and West Linn communities.

Also on the ballot this November will be Commissioner Rocky Smith Jr., who is seeking re-election, along with Karla Laws, Dean Scrutton, Sandra Dee Toews and Tom Geil.

The successful candidates will serve four-year terms beginning January 1, 2023, and running through December 31, 2026.

McGriff, who won the mayor’s seat in a landslide special election earlier this month with more than 80% of the vote, will face challenger Dan Berge in a two-way mayoral race.

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