Senate race close; House incumbent appears to be returning to Salem
One incumbent is headed back to Salem… the other appears to be, but it’s still close.
As of early morning, there were fewer than 400 votes separating the two, but Arnie Roblan is holding a slim margin of victory over challenger Dick Anderson for the Fifth District Oregon Senate.
Roblan, the Coos Bay Democrat, actually lost in Coos and Douglas Counties, but won in western Lane and is leading in Lincoln County. There are still a few votes in Tillamook, Polk and Yamhill counties to be tabulated.
In the Ninth House District, incumbent Caddy McKeon appears to be headed back for her third term after holding off Republican challenger Teri Grier. McKeon has 49-percent of the votes to Grier’s 46-percent… a difference of 1,092.
Brissenden appears to be headed to JP victory
There is one other contested race in Lane County. Rick Brissenden appears to be edging out Woody Woodbury for the Justice of the Peace position. Brissenden has 50-percent of the vote… 29,968… to Woodbury’s 48-percent or 28,954. Out of nearly 60-thousand votes cast in that contest, Brissenden holds a margin of victory of 1,014.
Local races: Voters say yes to several money measures
Sticking with local races… Voters in the Western Lane Ambulance District have overwhelmingly approved a local operating levy for that agency. The yes votes total 7,243 to 2,047 nos… a margin of 77-to-22 percent. That will mean roughly 800-thousand dollars a year for four years for operations at the emergency medical transport agency.
Voters in Western Oregon are overwhelmingly saying yes to sales taxes on recreational marijuana. Lane County, Dunes City and Florence each had separate requests on the ballot… Florence voters said yes by a 72-to27 percent margin; Dunes City approved theirs by a 66-33 percentage difference; and recreational sales in rural Lane County will be taxed after votes said yes by a 70-to-29 percent margin.
Dunes City Council awaits write in count
Several other local races and issues were decided by voters yesterday. Nearly all of them were uncontested.
Two area mayors won reelection. In Florence it was Joe Henry; in Dunes City it was Rebecca Ruede. Neither faced opposition.
In Florence, Councilors Joshua Greene and Ron Preisler were each unopposed… both easily won reelection. In Dunes City, there were three council spots open, but just one candidate. Tom Mallen won election but workers will spend the next several days sifting through and counting the 170 write in votes to see who will fill the other two spots.
Two directors were elected to the Heceta Water PUD board: Wendy Rohner and Vito Coviello. Voters in that district also voted to dissolve the former Heceta Water District that was made superfluous by the last year’s creation of the water PUD.
Trapp gets four years
Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp will get a full four years… he was unopposed in the general election.
Statewide… Brown elected; Richardson edges Avakian
Voters selective in ballot measures
A Republican won the first statewide election in Oregon since 2002, with a victory in the race for the state’s second-highest office. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown defeated Republican opponent Bud Pierce on Tuesday, but Republican Dennis Richardson beat Democrat Brad Avakian to become the next secretary of state.
Oregonians shot down a state ballot measure that would have taxed companies’ sales of more than $25 million, with many voters worrying that it would hit their own wallets. Ben Unger, a main backer of Measure 97, conceded defeat Tuesday evening in a message to the media and supporters. Tens of millions of dollars were thrown into the battle over Measure 97 by both sides, with the “no” campaign largely funded by mostly out-of-state corporations.
Oregon voters Tuesday approved an array of other issues. Measures covering everything from guaranteed outdoor school for Oregon middle schoolers to additional funding for veterans’ services to whether public universities should be allowed to play the stock market got the thumbs up at the polls.