January 20 2019
Longtime Sen. Jeff Merkley is reportedly seeking a change to Oregon's laws that would allow him to simultaneously run for president and re-election to the Senate in 2020.
"Sen. Merkley has been approached by Oregonians who have expressed interest in changing the law," spokesman Ray Zaccaro told the Willamette Week. "He agrees this is something that should be addressed."
The Oregon Democrat has approached state lawmakers in his bid to change the law, sources told the newspaper.
A Merkley spokeswoman did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment Wednesday.
Rules about running in multiple elections differ by state, but in Oregon, the law states: "A person may not be a candidate for more than one lucrative office to be filled at the same election."
Earlier this month, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy paved the way for Sen. Cory Booker, a fellow Democrat, to simultaneously run for Senate and the White House in 2020.
As Merkley, 62, has remained a stalwart opposition to President Trump in recent months, his national profile has risen. He's already visited Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – key primary states.
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Merkley has vocalized his support for Medicare for all, focused on climate change and went viral when he tried to enter a federal facility in Texas where immigrant children were being held in June.
He was the only senator to endorse progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. And Merkley has been compared to Sanders, a favorite among the more liberal wing of his party. A 2017 Politico Magazine profile predicted he "could inherit Bernie Sanders' progressive mantle in 2020."
"He has the right values to be president of the United States, absolutely," Jeff Weaver, who ran the Sanders 2016 campaign, told Politico then. "It's a difficult road, and every person who thinks about it, regardless of their politics, has to look at – can they win, do they want to do it."