Early look at Oregon’s 2016 elections – Part 2

Dan Lucas_July 2012_BW

by Dan Lucas

Republicans have their work cut out for them in Oregon’s 2016 races.

After the November 2014 election, Democrats returned to super-majority status in the Oregon Senate – an advantage they’ve enjoyed for 3 of the past 5 election cycles. They hold 18 seats to Republicans’ 12 seats. In the Oregon House, Democrats are within one seat of super-majority status. Democrats hold 35 seats to Republicans’ 25 seats.

In the past 20 years, every Oregon governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state treasurer has been a Democrat.

Which party has controlled OR govt_Dec 2014

(click to enlarge)

As of July 2015, Democrats hold a 7.8% statewide voter registration advantage over Republicans – Democrats have 171,175 more voters than Republicans.

The steep up-hill climb for Republicans in Oregon is likely contributing to the low number of Republican candidates so far.

After that bit of cheery news, it’s on to the remaining state-level elections.

Oregon Treasurer

State Rep. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton) has announced he’s running for State Treasurer. Read has been endorsed by current Treasurer Ted Wheeler – who is up against his term limit – and he’s received $5,000 campaign donations from “from two of the most successful female executives in corporate America,” one from his former boss who was “chief of staff for then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.”

The Oregonian and Willamette Week are both reporting that Jeffery Gudman, a Lake Oswego city councilor, plans to seek the Republican nomination.

The Bend Bulletin reported that Chris Telfer is “considering running for state treasurer as an Independent.” Telfer is “a Bend certified public accountant, Oregon Lottery commissioner and former [Republican] state senator and Bend city councilor,” who “ran unsuccessfully for treasurer in a special election in 2010 as a Republican.” According to the Bulletin, Telfer registered as an Independent in late July or early August.

UPDATE: 8/28/2015 – Chris Telfer announced her Independent Party bid for State Treasurer

Oregon Attorney General

Oregon’s current Attorney General, Democrat Ellen Rosenblum, has announced she will run for re-election in 2016.

Rosenblum was elected with the help of hundreds of thousands of dollars of marijuana lobby money – “at least a third of the $699,000 Rosenblum raised” in her Democratic primary. Willamette Week, where her husband is the publisher, reported “Rosenblum is the first statewide official in Oregon whose election was fueled by drug money.” Ironically for an attorney general, the state’s top law enforcement official, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. As I wrote back in May, marijuana “remains illegal at the federal level per the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. At the federal level, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug, along with drugs like heroin and LSD. Anyone growing, selling or possessing marijuana is still committing a federal crime punishable by at least up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.” Oregon’s marijuana laws are in conflict with federal laws, to put it mildly.

Rosenblum has drawn criticism for not doing her job. She refused to defend the Oregon constitution (Article XV, Section 5a – the definition of marriage) and she was criticized in the media for “sitting on her hands,” “dragging her heels,” and being “AWOL” for not investigating fellow Democrat John Kitzhaber.

I haven’t heard of any possible opponents yet for Rosenblum.

There are no term limits for Oregon Attorney General.

Oregon Senate (15 of 30 seats)

The following Oregon state senate seats are up for election in 2016:

Oregon State Senate Races in 2016

(click to enlarge)

There are 8 Republican seats and 7 Democratic seats up for election. The more competitive districts were up for election in 2014. In this cycle, SD 5, the seat currently held by Arnie Roblan, is likely the most competitive district.

One area that may be a problem for Roblan is his flip on second amendment rights. Most recently, he voted for anti-gun bill SB 941 – Oregon’s unnecessary, unconstitutional and unenforceable expanded gun background check law. The last time he was elected in 2012, Roblan earned an “A” rating from the NRA and he was endorsed by the NRA. He won’t have either of those for 2016.

Oregon House (all 60 seats)

There will be a handful of highly competitive house races in 2016. One of the most competitive will be HD 20 in Salem, currently held by Democrat Paul Evans. HD 9 in Coos Bay (held by Democrat Caddy McKeown) could also be very competitive.

Other highly competitive house races will likely include Clackamas County seats HD 51 (held by Democrat Shemia Fagan – some precincts are in Multnomah County) and HD 40 (held by Democrat Brent Barton) and Washington County seats HD 30 (held by Democrat Joe Gallegos) and HD 29 (held by Democrat Susan McLain). Brent Barton has already announced he won’t be running in 2016 – which means HD 40 will be an open seat and an even more competitive race.

In the 2014 election, there were six Oregon house races that ended up costing close to $1 million or more: house districts 20, 54, 30, 51, 29 and 40.

Additional resources for following the 2016 Oregon elections:

Reagan Knopp’s Election HQ

This article is Part 2 to Sunday’s article: Early look at Oregon’s 2016 elections (Part 2 will be added to Sunday’s article so all the information is in one place.) PLEASE SEE THAT ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOR ALL FUTURE UPDATES.

To read more from Dan, visit www.dan-lucas.com

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2016 Election, Oregon Attorney General, Oregon House, Oregon Senate, State Treasurer | 11 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Time to bring back Dudley? Or something akin? Name recognition and novelty is a cheap trick; but hey it came pretty pretty close in the 2010 governor’s race (talking Dudley here, not the pretend cowboy (except between the sheets…if you know what I mean)).

    • Flora Starter

      Dudley DoRight certain to have been better for US than a vain erector set, aka, [sic] KitzHayes, having Left constituents with albeit a BiSextant Brown wheeling and darling adventurist aiming to dockette at weird Potland and port at udder Willamette valet leftist sublimations.

      Alas, ‘seining’ as Oregon remaining submerged under blue Kool-Aid waters what’s electable?

      For compromise, perhaps, return Gordon Smith to govern over Oregon politics, engage Betsy Johnson as Secretary of State – and, reconsign Brad Avakian to serve cake at least at one of the BHO plenty fore all Dem vacations.

  • bifford

    Senate Republican leader Ted Ferrioli and Republican House leader Mike Mclane are to blame for Oregon being the ONLY state to lose seats in a monumental red year. They refused to use winning issues like drivers cards. So we got crushed. These two have to man up and learn to play the game….or be replaced. This also applies to Dennis Richardson’s pathetic campaign.

    • Dems should be passe by know

      bummer said bifford

    • HBguy

      The Buckley Rule: Support the most viable conservative candidate.
      The Limbaugh rule: Vote for the most conservative candidate in the primary.

      • bifford

        You’re missing the point.
        To beat the Democrats we need winning issues that differentiate us from them AND cause our side and a big chunk of independents to vote our way. We had that issue in drivers cards. Ted and Mike didn’t use it because their lobby buddies were in favor of giving illegals drivers cards. They had no winning issue to replace it, so we suffered a miserable loss that shouldn’t have occurred, while drivers cards were defeated better than 2-1!
        if you’re implying that ted and mike shouldn’t be criticized or replaced, then we’re in for many more years of miserable losses.

        • HBguy

          Mc lane and Ferrioli both opposed that bill. What they didn’t do was use the divisive dog whistle politics of race that some were using. It shouldn’t be all about winning. I hope that at least sometimes some pols consider the right thing to do. As a swing voter, I applaud them.

  • thevillageidiot

    within the next two election cycles it will be who is holding the bag with the looming tax increases and huge deficits. an untold secret, any department that issues bonds to fill the PERS contributions is simply more borrowed money. How much is out there? Kind of like the mortgage backed derivatives. nobody knew how bad the mortgages really were until it was time to pay up.

  • DemBoy

    No republican will ever win any office in Oregon again. Ever.

    • Genre Custer Reville

      And coming to theatre swoon, after the Demskins are though salivating over their scalping of Oregon at the Swill Bighorn Willamette convergence upon the InSalem jackassylum grounds, a great big Chinook disaster-hopter will enter the nozone to offload a murder of cravens to hunt and peck out what remains of commoner sense.

      • ISIS seizes your pain

        Yeowza!!! Espresessoed by manna of dose Demz ovary yonder hanging off a cartel blanch of left blanque klutz’n putz venues.

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