Jim Torrey

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Jim Torrey (born 1940) is a politician in the U.S. state of Oregon. He served as mayor of Eugene from 1997 to 2004. Torrey was nominated in 2006 for an Oregon State Senate seat, but was defeated by incumbent Vicki Walker. Torrey was first elected to public office at the age of 21, when he won a seat on the Waldport city council.[citation needed]

Torrey was a member of the Oregon Republican Party from age 21 until age 67; in 2007, he switched his registration to the newly formed Independent Party of Oregon.[1] He was interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting for his views about the limits of partisan politics.[2]

Oregon Independent Party mayoral candidacy[edit]

Torrey ran again for mayor of Eugene in 2008. He qualified for a runoff election in November of that year, but lost to incumbent Kitty Piercy.[citation needed]

Torrey's decision as a former two-term mayor to challenge first term incumbent mayor Kitty Piercy was described as an "unprecedented contest" in Eugene politics.[3]

Jeff Mapes, a political analyst with The Oregonian, described the election:

Both [candidates] are smart, tough and tested politicians who I expect to sharply debate how best to nurture the economy and livability of Eugene. In other words, kind of like the debate you might get from Sam Adams and Sho Dozono in Portland.[4]

An unsubstantiated charge that Torrey donated to the re-election 2004 campaign of George W. Bush and his role on the Eugene School District school board promoting higher taxes during its recent closures and mergers [5][6] remain controversial, as both, themselves, are widely viewed as polarizing events. A search of the Federal Elections Commission website turned up no donations to President Bush, but two federal donations (one to Senator Gordon H. Smith in 2001 and one to the Oregon Republican Party in 2003) can be verified.[7]


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