Rockne Roll / News-Register##Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shakes hands with Linda Kelly of Dayton in front of Cornerstone Coffee Roasters in McMinnville. The governor, who is running for election, stopped in McMinnville Friday for a campaign event.
Rockne Roll / News-Register##Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shakes hands with Linda Kelly of Dayton in front of Cornerstone Coffee Roasters in McMinnville. The governor, who is running for election, stopped in McMinnville Friday for a campaign event.
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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wins, incumbents return to Congress

By ANDREW SELSKY
Of the Associated Press

PORTLAND — Democratic Gov. Kate Brown defeated Republican opponent Bud Pierce on Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden handily defeated Republican challenger Mark Callahan to retain his seat. And Oregon's sole Republican in Congress, Greg Walden, beat Democratic challenger Jim Crary, who lacked an extensive background in politics.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader are also keeping their seats in Congress.

Oregonians were also voting for secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general.

Brown's victory keeps her in the governor's job for another two years. She will be finishing the last two years of the term of Gov. John Kitzhaber, who quit in February 2015 because of an influence-peddling scandal swirling around him and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes.

Brown, the nation's first bisexual governor, took over for Kitzhaber because as secretary of state she was next in line.

There will be another gubernatorial election in 2018.

In the run-up to Tuesday's election, Brown touted achievements such as a deal to incrementally raise the minimum wage to as high as $14.75 by 2022 and passage of pioneering legislation to eliminate the use of coal-fired power by 2035.

Pierce, a Salem oncologist and political newcomer, got into trouble by suggesting during a debate with Brown that successful women aren't susceptible to domestic abuse and sexual violence. He later apologized.

Republicans and Democrats are keeping a close eye on the secretary of state's race in the Tuesday election, because it might be the GOP's chance for winning its first statewide race in more than a decade.

Polls have indicated it could be a close race Tuesday between Republican Dennis Richardson and Democrat Brad Avakian, Oregon's labor commissioner.

While the gubernatorial contest is often the marquee race, the rivalry between Richardson and Avakian has been the most heated. Each candidate accused the other of hitting below the belt.

Avakian said Richardson is “extreme, like Trump.” Richardson retorted that Avakian has a history of not paying his bills.

Richardson and Avakian are veteran politicians. In 2003, both came to the state House as freshmen lawmakers. Avakian has been labor commissioner since 2008. Richardson challenged Kitzhaber and lost to him in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

The treasurer's race featured three candidates: Democratic state Rep. Tobias Read, Republican and Lake Oswego City Councilman Jeff Gudman, and the Independent Party's Chris Telfer, a certified public accountant and former Republican state lawmaker.

In the race for attorney general, Republican Daniel Zene Crowe challenged Democratic incumbent Ellen Rosenblum, the first woman to hold the position.

 

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