The Independent Party of Oregon is a ballot-qualified party, but it doesn’t quite have enough registrants to qualify for a government primary. Instead, it nominates the way the other ballot-qualified minor parties do, either by convention, or by a primary paid for by the party itself.
The Independent Party has approximately 100,000 registered members, and it costs the party $24,000 to send a piece of postal mail to each registrant. Nevertheless, the party does such a mailing. The mailing tells the member that he or she can log in to the party’s web site, and request a primary ballot. The party pays for this with candidate filing fees. The highest fees are for statewide office, and are $3,000. The party provides for petitions in lieu of the filing fee as well.
The party will have a primary contest between the two major party candidates for Governor, Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican Dennis Richardson. Oregon permits two parties to jointly nominate the same candidate, so the winner of the Independent Party primary will have the “Independent Party” label on the November ballot next to his name. For instance, if Kitzhaber wins the Independent Party primary, he will be on the November ballot as “John Kitzhaber, Democrat, Independent.” There are 38 candidates seeking Independent Party nominations for various partisan offices this year.