By News-Register staff • 

Close 12th District State Senate race: Hansen takes lead from Swartzendruber

[Updated with latest returns at 4:35 p.m. Wednesday, May 20]

Bernadette Hansen and Ross Swartzendruber were running a close race among the Democrats in the State Senate District 12 race seeking to take on incumbent Republican Brian Boquist in November.

In the latest returns, Hansen had 34.9%, while Swartzendruber had 32.2% of the vote. Two other challengers trailed. Lisa Pool, an acupuncturist, had 22%, while Arianna Blunt, who owns an arts and craft shop, had nearly 10%. There were 98 write-in votes accounting for nearly 1% of the votes.

Hansen describes herself as a caregiver and community activist interested in homelessness, housing and income equality. 

Swartzendruber, a West Salem sheep farmer and ad agency owner, previously lost to Boquist, of McMinnville, in 2016.

Back in March, Swartzendruber said the primary was anyone’s game at that point. “This is an unpredictable year, and we’re not even near election time,” he said. “It depends on how we can get out and get contact with voters.”

Boquist himself doesn’t have to worry about a primary. The Dallas Republican, who has served in the State Senate since 2009, is unopposed in the early contest.

The sprawling Senate District 12 presents a formidable campaign task for any candidate. While McMinnville and Dallas are its major metropolitan areas, it also covers a small portion of Hillsboro and extends as far south as Monroe in Benton County.

In all, the district stretches for 100 miles, touching five counties and eight media markets.

Coming from West Salem, Swartzendruber said he might find himself at a competitive disadvantage considering the importance of McMinnville voters in the election.

“I think it’s going to be difficult,” he said. “The other candidates are solidly Yamhill County.”

[Updated at 10:05 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, with latest results]


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable