11-16-2018  2:43 pm      •     
Jo Ann Hardesty speaks at a rally at Portland City Hall in April. On Tuesday Hardesty was decisively elected to the Portland City Commission, making her the first-ever African American woman to serve on the council. (Mark Graves/The Oregonian via AP)
By The Skanner News
Published: 07 November 2018

Jo Ann Hardesty, former state legislator and NAACP Portland branch president, was elected Tuesday as the first-ever woman of color on Portland’s city council.

The race was bound to be historic regardless of the victor; in the end Hardesty won with 62 percent of the vote to Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith’s 37 percent. Hardesty’s 25-percent lead echoed the outcome of the spring primary, when Hardesty got 46 percent of the vote to Smith’s 21 percent.

Last week The Oregonian reported on the partial release of poll results from the Smith campaign saying the race was too close to call. That poll was not the only one projecting a close race that turned out to be a landslide. As recently as last week some polls said Democratic Gov. Kate Brown had only a slight lead over Republican Knute Buehler, leading to raised eyebrows and scratched heads in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 1978. But Brown won with a six-point lead (as of Wednesday morning, Brown had 50 percent of counted votes and Buehler had 44 percent).

In the state legislature, Democrats won a supermajority, with 38 of 60 seats in the House of Representatives, giving them the power to raise taxes and reform Oregon’s tax system. Portland-area voters ousted Rep. Julie Parrish in favor of Rep. Rachel Prusack; at press time Rep. Janelle Bynum was up 2 points in a race against Republican challenger Lori Chavez-DeRemer, currently the mayor of Happy Valley.

Other local results of note include:

  • Oregon voters approved Measure 102, allowing local bonds to finance affordable housing, 56 to 44 percent;
  • Measure 103, which would have amended the state constitution to prohibit taxes on certain items, was defeated, with 57 percent voting against the measure and 43 percent voting for it;
  • Voters also killed Measure 104, which would have amended the constitution to require a three-fifths majority to approve bills raising any revenue (not just taxes), by a margin of 65 to 35 percent;
  • Oregonians also decisively defeated Measure 105, which would have repealed the state’s decades-old sanctuary law, 63 to 37 percent; They also defeated Measure 106, which would have prevented the use of state funds for abortion services, 64 to 36 percent;
  • Measure 26-201, approving a tax on certain large retailers to fund clean energy and job training, passed (65 percent voted yes; 35 percent no);
  • Measure 26-200, limiting candidate contributions and requiring campaigns to disclose funders, passed in a landslide (88 percent yes; 12 percent no);
  • Christine Lewis was elected as Metro Council Director, position 2 (55 percent voted for Lewis; 45 percent voted for opponent Joe Buck);
  • Jennifer McGuirk was elected as Multnomah County’s auditor (57 percent voted for McGuirk; 42 percent voted for opponent Scott Learn);
  • Earl Blumenauer was re-elected as U.S. Representative in District 3 with 73 percent of the vote (Republican Tom Harrison got 20 percent and third-party candidates shared the other 7 percent).

Full election results, including breakdowns by precinct, are available through Multnomah County Elections Divison’s website.

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