By News-Register staff • 

Nearman unseats Thompson in House 23

Mike Nearman has won the Republican nomination for state representative in District 23, unseating incumbent Rep. Jim Thompson of Dallas.

The district stretches from the south end of Yamhill County, where it takes in Amity, Willamina and Dayton, on down south through rural parts of Polk and Benton counties. Along the way, it crosses the Willamette River to pick up a pocket of rural Marion County.

Nearman was collecting almost 65 percent of the vote in the four counties. That gave him a margin of almost 2-1.

Nearman, a software engineer from Independence, tacked hard to the right of Thompson. Carrying the Tea Party banner, he attacked Thompson’s stances on gay marriage and his votes on Cover Oregon in the Legislature.

Nearman's campaign was funded largely by a pair of right-leaning interest groups, the Oregon Family Council and Oregon Right to Life. They were upset with Thompson's acquiescence on the issue of same-sex marriage, which a federal judge held to be legal in Oregon in a Monday ruling.

The district is heavily Republican in its political orientation, making Nearman a virtual lock for November.

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