May 19th was primary election night and will set the stage for campaigns for the rest of 2020. Here are a handful of the more notable races as well as one tax measure.
Secretary of State
Longtime State Senator Mark Hass is leading in a three-way democratic primary against fellow State Senator Shemia Fagan, and relative political newcomer Jamie McLeod Skinner. Assuming he holds on his opponent in November will be State Senator Kim Thatcher. Hass will look to put the Secretary of State’s Office back in democrat control after Dennis Richardson won in 2016 and became the first Republican to win statewide office in many years.
Congressional District 2
Former State Senator Cliff Bentz won the Republican Primary to replace Congressman Greg Walden who announced he would not seek reelection. Bentz defeated a long list of opponents including Former State Rep and Gubernatorial Candidate Knute Buehler, Former State Senator Jason Atkinson, and political newcomer Jimmy Crumpacker. Despite raising less than half the amount of money as Buehlers campaign, Bentz prevailed by nearly nine points. Cliff Bentz 31.3%, Knute Buehler 22.2%, Jason Atkinson 19.9% and Jimmy Crumpacker rounding out the top four with 17.5%. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Bentz will be the next Congressman from CD-2 due to it being a safe Republican seat.
Ballot Measure 26-210: Supports homeless services through higher earners’ tax, business profits tax
This tax authorizes a 1% tax on household income above $200,000 and individual income above $150,000. Included in the ballot measure is a 1% profit tax on businesses with gross receipts higher than $5M to fund homeless services. This measure passed with 58% voting yes. This measure is only for the Metro Counties and will expire in 2030.
Senate District 2
SD-2 is a seat in Southern Oregon in and around the Grants Pass Area. This seat is being vacated by Former Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger. Art Robinson defeated Jolee Wallace 54.1% to 43.2% in the Republican primary and will face Democrat Jerry Allen in November. Art Robinson will be the likely next Senator as the seat is a safe Republican seat.
Senate District 18
SD-18 is a district making up portions of SW Portland and Tigard. Longtime Senator who until recently was the Senate Democrat Leader generated a challenge by Ben Bowman who is a member of the Tigard Tualatin School Board. While there was some momentum building early on from Bowman’s campaign, Burdick won a resounding victory 70% to 30%. She will return to the Senate for another term as she does not have a Republican opponent this November.
House District 3
HD-3 is a seat in southern Oregon which makes up half of SD-2 (mentioned above). Former House Republican Leader Carl Wilson is retiring at the end of this term and a trio of Republicans battled it out to replace him. Lilly Morgan emerged as the victor defeating Zacharie Maynard 43.1% to 34.4%, with Max Whittington coming in third with 13.4%. She will face Democrat Jerry Morgan this fall, though Morgan will likely win as this is a safe Republican seat.
House District 17
HD-17 is a seat making up a large portion of eastern Linn and Marion Counties including the towns of Lebanon, Stayton, and up toward Detroit. Long time legislator Sherrie Sprenger has decided to run for the Linn County Commission and in her place six individuals have vied to fill the vacancy. Though still to close to call in the Republican primary, as of late last night, Jami Cate is slowly extending her lead against Scott Sword 28.8% to 25% with the other candidates picking up smaller portions of the remainder of the vote. If Cates lead holds, she will face Stayton City Councilor Paige Hook in November. HD-17 is a strong Republican seat, so in all likelihood, Cate will win handily in November.
House District 20
HD-20 is a house seat making up most of West Salem and some rural communities in Polk County. This democrat leaning seat is held by Rep. Paul Evans. In the Republican primary, in what was a closer contest than many predicted, Selma Pierce is leading (and appears to be pulling away) Kevin Chambers 57%-42%. The race has yet to be called though it appears that Selma has a large enough lead that she will likely emerge as the Republican nominee and will face Rep. Paul Evans in what will be a rematch of 2018. This will be a competitive race this fall and potentially one to pay close attention to in the coming months.
House District 26
Is a district making up portions of the South Portland Metro Area including the cities of Wilsonville, and some rural areas running out to the south of Hillsboro. This seat is a toss up seat, though population shifts have turned a once lean Republican district to a small Democrat advantage. Current Rep. Courtney Neron will look to keep the seat in Democrat control after her upset win in 2018. Her Republican challenger will be Peggy Stevens who won by nearly 16% against two other candidates to gain the party nomination. This race will be extremely hard fought this fall and may be one of the most hotly contested races in the state. This will certainly be a district to watch as Republicans will look to flip the seat back to red.
House District 28
Is a seat in and around the Beaverton area. Long time legislator Jeff Barker is stepping down and three individuals ran in the democrat primary to replace him. Wlnsvey Campos emerged defeating Alisa Blum and Jacob Bride with 54% of the vote. In November she will face Republican Daniel Martin though it is relatively safe Democrat seat so barring a massive upset, she will likely be the next State Representative from HD-28.
House District 32
Is a district on the North Coast taking in the cities of Astoria, Warrenton, Seaside, and areas nearby. Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell is stepping down after serving one term. On the democrat side, Debbie Boothe-Schmidt defeated George Kiepke. Boothe-Schmidt will face Suzanne Weber who handily won the Republican nomination winning her race by over 60%. This seat has been reliably democrat for many years, though it is a district that has slowly become more competitive. This is another race to watch as it may trend toward a toss-up by November.
House District 33
This district encompasses areas of NW Portland and regions out toward the west. Rep. Mitch Greenlick who has served in the legislature for many years announced he was going to retire at the end of the term. Unfortunately, he passed away just a week or so ago due to a long battle with several illnesses. Maxine Dexter defeated three other opponents winning by over 11%. She will face Republican Dick Courter in November but due to the seat being a safe Democrat seat, she is a virtual lock to be elected this fall.
House District 36
This district takes in a large portion of downtown Portland. Former Democrat House Leader Jennifer Williamson stepped down late last year and Akasha Lawrence Spence was nominated to fill out the remainder of her term with the caveat of not seeking reelection. Four individuals ran in the democrat primary to be the next Representative from this district. Lisa Reynolds emerged as the winner after a fairly competitive race defeating Laurie Wimmer 43.1% to 36.3% with Rob Fullmer and Adam Meyer picking up 12.6% and 7.6% respectively. She will face James Ball in the general election, though since this is one of the safest Democrat seats in the state she will prevail and become the next State Representative from HD-36.
House District 42
HD 42 is located in the inner SE Portland area. Rep. Rob Nosse who has served for three terms drew an opponent from his left in the Democrat primary by Paige Kreisman who was supported by several unions and some community activists. While Paige was able to generate a fair amount of early support, Nosse won in resounding fashion defeating Kreisman 67.2% to 32.6% and will retain his seat.
House District 46
This is district is located in the middle of East Portland just to the south of I-84. Rep. Alisa Keny Guyer has decided to retire after serving several terms and three individuals battled it out to replace her. In the end, Khanh Pham walked away with it after defeating two other opponents by earning 85% of the vote most notably former Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen who received 9.7%. Pham will be the next State Representative from HD-46.