PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A big race is underway for a new Multnomah County Sheriff with outgoing sheriff Mike Reese unable to run for re-election due to term limits.

Among the candidates to replace him are Undersheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell, Sheriff’s Captain Derrick Peterson and Corrections Deputy Nicholas Alberts, who has not reported any fundraising.  

Leading candidates Morrisey O’Donnell and Peterson have both spent decades in law enforcement, but they are facing a tough task with the sheriff’s department struggling with a lot of challenges.

Morrisey O’Donnell, the first woman to serve as second-in-command in the sheriff’s office, led the corrections and law enforcement divisions. She was first hired as a corrections deputy in 1996.  

Peterson is captain of the auxiliary services division, which handles the transfer of agency supplies and property storage for adults in custody. He started in 1986 also as a corrections deputy.

One of the biggest issues facing county law enforcement is the rapid rise in gun violence. With 500 shootings in Portland in 2022, more than 30 people have been killed by gunfire.
In the sheriff’s race, a candidate must get at least 50% of the votes in the primary to be elected sheriff. If not, the top two candidates will face off in November.