09 29 2016
  1:26 am  
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Wednesday afternoon saw the critical Oregon governor race bust open with a Kitzhaber win, while observers scratched their heads over what looked like an even Democrat-Republican split in both the Oregon Senate and the House of Representatives.
In fact, a record-setting cascade of campaign spending in Oregon and nationwide appears to have resulted in very slim margins.
Republican Chris Dudley, who appeared to squeak past Democrat John Kitzhaber for governor all night and all day, delivered his concession speech after it was clear the majority was not in his favor.
In Washington state, incumbent Sen. Patty Murray was declaring victory over Republican contender Dino Rossi after a bitter race marked by significant contributions from outside interests.
In Oregon's race for Metro president, Bob Stacey trailed Tom Hughes by a tiny margin Wednesday afternoon, and the City of Portland general obligation bonds for fire and emergency response.

Meanwhile, Loretta Smith won over Karol Collymore for Multnomah County Commission; former Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler has defeated his Republican challenger Chris Telfer for state treasurer.

In Oregon, untested Republican challengers lost hotly contested Congressional races that saw big cash drops by outside interests against Democratic incumbents Peter DeFazio in the 4th District and Kurt Schrader in the 5th District, who both limped back to their desks in the nation's capitol.

The rest of the Oregon Congressional delegation easily held their seats, including Rep. David Wu; Rep. Earl Blumenauer; and Rep. Greg Walden. Also far in the lead was Sen. Ron Wyden.

Ballot initiatives in Oregon were a mixed bag. Passing were the Oregon Historical Society bond measure set to pass; the increased mandatory minimums for drunk driving and sex crimes passing; continued lottery funding for the parks; expanded home loans for veterans; year-round state legislature.

Failing in Oregon so far were the new Multnomah County casino, and legalized pot dispensaries.

In Multnomah County, failing measures as of Wednesday morning included: eliminating term limits for County Commissioners; and allowing commissioners to run for office without quitting their seat.

Passing were: establishment of a salary commission for Sheriffs and District Attorney pay; requiring county commissioners to live in their districts; limiting the number of Multnomah County elections to May and November only; formation of a special Library District allowing the libraries to place funding levies on the ballot in future; and the five-year Oregon Historical Society levy.

In City of Portland measures: continued public financing for city campaigns was failing by a small margin; general obligation bonds for fire and emergency response was too close to call.

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