Independent Party recognized as major political party in Oregon

PORTLAND — In addition to Democratic and Republican, Oregon now has a third major political party: Independent.

Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins announced Monday that the Independent Party of Oregon had 109,363 registered voters as of August, equaling to more than 5 percent of the state's registered voters. That's the threshold for becoming a major party.

It means the Independent Party will be permitted to participate in the state's May 2016 primary election.

Established less than a decade ago, the Independent Party of Oregon has lacked a clear philosophy or platform. The party surveys its members to learn what its priorities will become.

Thus far, party leaders say, supporters have shown a strong preference for consumer protection, campaign finance reform, economic development and increased transparency in government.

— Associated Press

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