Avakian to seek re-election as labor commissioner

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian says he'll seek another term.

Avakian (uh-VAHK-ee-un) is a Democrat who lives in Beaverton. He'll face Republican Bruce Starr, a state senator from Hillsboro.

Avakian was appointed labor commissioner in April 2008 and was elected statewide later that year to a full four-year term. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House seat vacated by David Wu, who resigned in a sex scandal.

Oregon's labor commissioner runs the Bureau of Labor and Industries, which is responsible for enforcing employment and anti-discrimination laws.

As a nonpartisan position, labor commissioner will be on the May 15 primary ballot. If no candidate gets a majority of votes, the top two contenders will face off in the general election Nov. 6.