Oregon Cities

Kaarin Knudson takes a big lead in the race to become Eugene’s next mayor

Kaarin Knudson addresses supporters at The Bier Stein in Eugene on May 21, 2024, after taking a commanding lead in the primary election.

Kaarin Knudson addresses supporters at The Bier Stein in Eugene on May 21, 2024, after taking a commanding lead in the primary election.

Rebecca Hansen-White / KLCC

Election night returns show architect Kaarin Knudson is ahead in the race to be Eugene’s next mayor.

In initial returns, Knudson has 75% of the votes. Shanaé Joyce-Stringer is in second with 15%. Stefan Strek is in third with 9%.

If the current results hold, with Knudson taking over 50% of the vote, she wins outright and there will be no runoff on the November ballot.

During an election night celebration at The Bier Stein in Eugene, Knudson thanked voters for their strong support.

“I’m really proud of the campaign that we ran, the volunteers’ work, the opportunities to talk to people all over town,” she said. “I’m really excited about what we’re going to be able to accomplish in these years ahead.”

Knudson is the founder of a housing nonprofit, an author and a former University of Oregon athlete. She was endorsed by Mayor Lucy Vinis and several sitting city council members.

During her campaign, she touted the housing advocacy work she’s already done, such as helping launch Eugene’s housing trust fund. She also said she was looking for innovative ways to increase housing supply, such as turning surface parking lots in downtown Eugene into housing.

Knudson raised more than $243,000 during the campaign, a significant portion of which was in-kind support from the Eugene Realtors PAC.

Joyce-Stringer is a small business owner and educator who has worked for Eugene 4J and Lane Education Services District. She moved to Oregon from Florida during the pandemic.

She is also a renter and said city government needed to include more voices like hers when making decisions about housing. She raised a little over $10,000 in campaign contributions during the race.

Strek is an artist who said his main issues were increasing bus and library services and making more public restrooms available. Strek has run for office several times before, including for mayor, and did not report campaign finance transactions.

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