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Democrats aim to win supermajority in Oregon Legislature

 

By ANDREW SELSKY
Of the Associated Press

SALEM — Democrats have a chance to win one more seat each in the state Senate and House in Tuesday's election.

If they do that and hang onto existing seats, they'll reach a three-fifths supermajority in both chambers. That would give them a better shot 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.

Democrats ran into some trouble in their supermajority quest, with the party leadership essentially disowning their party's candidate to fill a House seat after he was accused of groping a woman and then maligned her character after she made the accusation.

The bid to fill the seat being vacated by Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler went further off the rails when the third-party candidate that the Democratic leadership turned to 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 in the race in House District 54.

Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie won the primary to be the Democratic candidate, and he remains on the ballot even though he lost support of party leadership after he was accused by a woman of putting his hand down her pants in a bar. He then publicly said she had been a substance abuser after she made her complaint. He has denied the allegations.

Democratic party leadership then backed Amanda La Bell of the Working Families Party, but she dropped out of the race over the false information in the voter pamphlet and accusations she mishandled funds for a nonprofit diaper bank she oversaw.

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

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