As in several states on the East Coast, tonight is primary night in two of the three states in the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Idaho. Voters belonging to or identifying with the country’s major political parties are choosing the nominees who will go on to the autumn general election as the parties’ standard bearers.
In Oregon, there isn’t much excitement on the Democratic side, because most of the state’s top elected positions are already held by Democrats, and they’re all seeking reelection. On the Republican side, there are at least two noteworthy contests, as several Republicans are vying to take on Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate, and several more are vying to take on John Kitzhaber for Governor.
With 209,985 votes cast and counted as of this hour (that’s turnout of 9.91%), it looks like each race has a runaway winner.
For U.S. Senate, Portland pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby is easily in the lead, winning not only a plurality of the vote, but a majority. The vote for the gubernatorial nomination is even more lopsided – State Representative Dennis Richardson has more votes than all of his opponents put together twice over.
Here are the numbers:
U.S. Senate, Oregon (Republican Nomination)
|Monica Wehby||45,876 votes||53.18%|
|Jo Rae Perkins||2,305 votes||2.67%|
|Mark Callahan||5,509 votes||6.39%|
|Timothy I Crawley||2,255 votes||2.61%|
|Jason Conger||29,973 votes||34.74%|
|Write-in Votes||349 votes||0.40%|
Governor of Oregon (Republican Nomination)
|Bruce A Cuff||6,847 votes||8.63%|
|Gordon Challstrom||7,864 votes||9.91%|
|Tim Carr||4,909 votes||6.18%|
|Dennis Richardson||52,635 votes||66.31%|
|Mae Rafferty||5,585 votes||7.04%|
|Darren Karr||829 votes||1.04%|
|Write-in candidate||712 votes||0.90%|
Wehby had credible competition in State Representative Jason Conger, who had hoped to capitalize on a round of bad publicity for Wehby near the end of the campaign. Conger is well behind Wehby, and not likely to catch up. The Merkley campaign has called both Wehby and Conger deeply flawed candidates.
Meanwhile, in the 1st Congressional District, Jason Yates has a narrow lead over Delinda Delgado Morgan for the right to take on Democrat Suzanne Bonamici.
In the 2nd District, Democratic voters are favoring Aelea Christofferson to go up against entrenched Republican incumbent Greg Walden.
Walden is the only Republican member of the state’s congressional delegation; he himself faced a Tea Party-backed candidate in Dennis B Linthicum, but is prevailing with a very comfortable three-to-one margin.
There are no contests in the 3rd or 4th Congressional Districts.
In the 5th, Democratic incumbent Kurt Schrader is easily dispatching challenger Anita Brown. Tootie Smith is the Republicans’ choice to oppose Schrader in November by an almost two-to-one margin.
In other results:
- Portland voters have resoundingly rejected a proposition that would have placed water and sewer services under the jurisdiction of a special public utility district instead of City Hall.
- There are a couple of close races for county commissioner in Lane County, which encompasses Eugene, Oregon’s second largest city.
- Most of the offices up for election in Lane County, however, are snoozefests, with incumbents running largely unchallenged.