Democrats poised to win supermajority in Oregon Legislature

Of The Associated Press

SALEM — Democrats were poised to win supermajorities in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature, with partial returns from Tuesday's showing they could flip two Senate seats and three House seats.

If they win just one more seat in each chamber, they'll reach a three-fifths supermajority that would improve their chances at increasing corporate taxes in a state where corporations pay one of the lowest rates in the nation.

Currently, the Democrats hold a 35 to 25 seat edge in the House and the 17 to 13 advantage in the Senate.

The Democrats could increase their number of seats in the following tight races, boosted by two nurses who decided to enter politics:

In the House:

— Rachel Prusak, a nurse practitioner and Democratic candidate for District 37 which lies south of Portland, was leading Republican Rep. Julie Parrish with 62 percent of the vote counted. Parrish had backed Measure 101 that would have eliminated a new tax on insurance companies and some hospitals to provide health care for low-income Oregonians. The measure was defeated by Oregon voters in January. Prusak said on Twitter last week that she ran for office “to protect the rights of her patients.”

— Courtney Neron, a teacher from the Portland suburb of Wilsonville, had a slight edge over Rep. Rich Vial, a Republican, in District 26.

— Anna Williams, a social worker, teacher and Democratic candidate for District 52 in northern Oregon, was leading Republican Rep. Jeff Helfrich.

In the Senate:

— Democratic candidate Jeff Golden, a river guide in southern Oregon and public television production manager, had a slight lead over Republican Jessica Gomez, who was departing GOP Sen. Alan DeBoer's legislative aide.

— Republican Sen. Chuck Thomsen was even with Democrat Chrissy Reitz, a former neonatal intensive care nurse and school board member in the battle to represent their district of northern Oregon.

Months ago, Democrats had hopes of also winning the House seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Knute Buehler, who ran for governor this election and lost to Gov. Kate Brown. Buehler represented the central Oregon town of Bend, which leans Democratic.

But the party leadership essentially disowned their party's candidate, Nathan Boddie, after he was accused of groping a woman and then maligned her character after she made the accusation.

The bid to fill Buehler's seat went further off the rails when the third-party candidate that the Democratic leadership turned to, Amanda La Bell, admitted she lied in her candidate profile when she said she was a university graduate.

Cheri Helt, a Republican who with her husband owns two restaurants in Bend and is a school board member, benefited from the disarray and had 64 percent of the vote Tuesday night, according to the partial returns.

All 60 seats in the Oregon House and 17 Senate seats were being contested this election.


Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky



What a sad story to which to wake up. I will fast-track my plans to leave Oregon. This place is irretrievably screwed.


Thank goodness saner minds won out here in Oregon. Oregon won't be sliding backward into chaos.


California has a super majority of Democrats and we've seen what a train wreck that has been. Are we really dumb enough to follow them off the cliff? I guess for a majority of Oregonians the lure of the government giving you "free stuff" is stronger than long term self preservation.


Super majorities are not the best way to run a democracy. At the national level or the state level. I wish us luck. We'll need it.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable