Parties have until Aug. 30 to nominate candidate to replace Sen. Bates

Sen. Alan Bates from Medford died Friday evening after fishing with his son. The Medical Examiner is conducting a death investigation. (Photo courtesy oregonlegislature.gov)

SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon's political parties have until the end of the month to nominate candidates to fill the senate seat now open after the unexpected death last week of Sen. Alan Bates, according to the secretary of state's office.

Bates, D-Medford, died Friday while on a fly fishing trip with his son. The 71-year-old primary care physician served the residents of Senate District 3. The district encompasses a part of Jackson County in southern Oregon.

In a Monday news release, Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins' office said that since the seat's vacancy occurred more than 60 days before the November election, it will appear on this year's ballot.

Each party will use its rules to nominate a person for the ballot.

Additionally, the Jackson County Democratic Party and county commissioners will have 30 days to appoint someone to fill the seat until the end of the year.

The secretary of state's office said that since the seat became vacant before the 61st day of the election, the seat will appear on the ballot as a two-year term.

"My office is committed to working with Jackson County to fill this seat under these sudden and unfortunate circumstances," Atkins said in the news release.

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