After a contentious race, Val Hoyle will lead Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries after walking away with more than 50 percent of the primary vote in Tuesday’s election.

Brad Avakian, who has served as Oregon’s BOLI commissioner since 2008, announced he would not seek re-election near the beginning of the year. That left three newcomers to the labor commission — Hoyle, Jack Howard and Lou Ogden — seeking to fill the position.

Hoyle, 54, has served in a variety of roles, including being elected the majority leader of the Oregon House of Representatives. Hoyle was appointed in 2010 to District 14 in the House, on Eugene’s northwest edge, and served through 2017.

Hoyle, who comes from a family of union workers, filed to run for BOLI commissioner last December. While Hoyle has served as a Democrat in the past, she said her experience working in a competitive district gives her experience working on both sides of the aisle.

Ogden, who has served as the mayor of Tualatin for 24 years, entered the race in February, and the normally quiet race heated up. A group of Hoyle’s supporters created a Facebook account attacking Ogden’s actions. They said an individual arrested for possession of child pornography was allowed to live in Ogden’s home, with the mayor’s permission.

The race is officially nonpartisan, but Ogden has positioned himself as a business-friendly candidate, securing endorsements from U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, and other Republicans.

Howard, 58, also ran for the position, and his campaign emphasized alleviating poverty and preventing housing discrimination.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818,