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Oregon Republicans choose Monica Wehby as Jeff Merkley’s November opponent; Dennis Richardson to face Governor John Kitzhaber

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 Wehby45,876 votes53.18%
Jo Rae Perkins2,305 votes2.67%
Mark Callahan5,509 votes6.39%
Timothy I Crawley2,255 votes2.61%
Jason Conger29,973 votes34.74%
Write-in Votes349 votes0.40%

Governor of Oregon (Republican Nomination)

Bruce A Cuff6,847 votes8.63%
Gordon Challstrom7,864 votes9.91%
Tim Carr4,909 votes6.18%
Dennis Richardson52,635 votes66.31%
Mae Rafferty5,585 votes7.04%
Darren Karr829 votes1.04%
Write-in candidate712 votes0.90%

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:

One Comment

  1. Pamela Marlowe
    Posted June 17th, 2014 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

    Jeff doesn’t have much have to fear, methinks.