Julie Hoy leading in race against Chris Hoy to be Salem’s next mayor

Julie Hoy is leading in the race to be Salem’s next mayor, according to initial results released Tuesday night.

“The numbers look really good,” Julie Hoy, the current Ward 6 councilor, said from her election watch party.

She is running against incumbent Mayor Chris Hoy.

Julie Hoy said she thinks her message of not settling for the status quo and striving for better connected with voters.

“I’m very excited and very happy,” she said. “It’s been a long road and a lot of hard work, and I have not done it alone.”

As long as the winner gets 50% plus one vote, the race will be decided in the primary election. The winner takes office in January.

Both Hoys hail from Ward 6, Salem’s northeastern ward. They are not related.

The race has brought in a record amount of campaign contributions, with most of the money going toward Julie Hoy.

As of May 15, she had $283,943 in cash and in-kind contributions. Chris Hoy had $58,160.

The mayor is an unpaid, volunteer position.

Chris Hoy grew up on the Oregon Coast working on the docks and boats in his family’s fishing operation. A fourth-generation Oregonian, he moved to Salem as a teen to attend Willamette University.

After graduating, he worked at local law enforcement agencies, joining the Lincoln, Marion and Clackamas county sheriff’s offices, eventually becoming Clackamas County’s undersheriff. He retired in 2019. Hoy said he’s lived in the same house in northeast Salem since 2004 and has two rescue dogs.

He is chair of the Salem Housing Authority Board of Directors, serves as vice-chair of the Mid-Willamette Homeless Alliance Board of Directors and volunteers with the Center for Hope and Safety Advisory Committee.

Hoy was elected to Salem City Council in 2017 following the sudden resignation of the Ward 6 councilor. He won reelection in 2018.

He also was appointed to serve as a state representative until the end of 2022. When appointed, Hoy said he had no plans to run for the Legislature.

More information can be found on Chris Hoy at chrishoyforsalem.com.

Julie Hoy, a longtime northeast Salem resident, coowner of Geppeto’s Italian Restaurant and the current Ward 6 councilor, entered the race last year. She was elected to city council in 2022, replacing Chris Hoy when he was elected mayor.

Hoy and her husband bought Geppeto’s Italian Restaurant in 2017.

Before owning the restaurant, Hoy, a mom of two and now a grandma, was a composer, musician, singer, author and public speaker.

While raising her family, she also was active in her church ministry.

More information on Julie Hoy’s campaign can be found at julieforsalem.com.

The issues

Both Hoys tout public safety, homelessness and city funding as top issues, but their approaches differ.

Chris Hoy said revenue challenges need to be addressed to prevent the city from having to make further cuts.

Leaders have pointed to Oregon’s property tax system and tax laws passed in the 1990s that have limited the amount of tax cities can collect and not kept pace with Salem’s growth as well as the tax-exempt properties within city limits.

“Until we fix that, we’re just going to keep struggling,” Hoy said. “We have a short-term problem and a long-term problem, and I want to work on both… We’ve got to keep the library open and we’ve got to keep the police funded. It’s a huge challenge.”

Julie Hoy was an early critic of the unsuccessful payroll tax and voted against passing it last year.

While campaigning, she has stressed the city doesn’t have a budget problem, it has a “priorities problem.” 

Julie Hoy said her experience in the private sector sets her apart from Chris Hoy.

“I haven’t worked within a system,” she said. “I’ve had to work to figure out how to survive in my personal business, in the restaurant business, through a pandemic.”

Chris Hoy said his record of working to accomplish goals and collaborate with community partners sets him apart from Julie Hoy.

“I have practical experience, and I don’t just ask questions, I help deliver solutions,” he said. “That’s a huge difference.”

FULL RESULTS: Check back for live vote totals in state, local races

Record campaign donations

With hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash and in-kind donations pouring into the Salem City Council and mayoral races, the 2024 primary election is shaping up to shatter local campaign fundraising records.

Julie Hoy’s major donors include the Oregon Realtors Political Action Committee with $72,626 in-kind and cash contributions, real estate developer Mountain West Development Corporation with $19,104 in-kind, Commercial Property Resources with $10,000, and Larry Tokarski, the president of Mountain West and co-founder of Salem Reporter with $20,000.

Chris Hoy’s major donors include $15,000 from Jackie Leung’s campaign committee, $11,686 in-kind from Progressive Salem, $3,000 from Nadene LeCheminant and $2,500 from Trevor Phillips.

For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at [email protected] call 503-910-6616 or follow on Twitter at @wmwoodworth.


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