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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 05 November 2008

On an election night that saw ebullient, multiracial crowds shooting off fireworks and dancing together in the streets, liberal voters swept an array of conservative ballot measures and local candidates.
Across the board, nearly every Democratic candidate won – with only two exceptions.
In the city of Portland, Amanda Fritz won a seat on the city commission. Judy Shiprack edged out Mike Delman for Multnomah County Commission, but candidates Diane McKeel and Carla Piluso were within .25 of a percentage point as The Skanner went to press.
For U.S. senate, the race was close between incumbent Gordon Smith, a Republican, who at presstime was inching past Democrat Jeff Merkley by less than one percent of the votes, even though Merkley posted a two-to-one win of voters in the Democratic Party stronghold of Multnomah County. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican, won re-election.
In Congress, every Democratic candidate won their race, including fifth district candidate Kurt Schrader and incumbents David Wu, and Earl Blumenauer.
For Oregon Secretary of State, Kate Brown becomes the first openly lesbian state official in Oregon history; Democrat Ben Westlund is new state treasurer; and Brad Avakian will lead the State Bureau of Labor and Industries.
Liberals also swept the ballot measures, defeating almost all of conservative tax activist Bill Sizemore's measures --  64 is undecided. Between the two tough-on-crime measures 57 and 61, voters upheld 57. Both measures provide for mandatory minimum sentences for first-time drug crimes, but 57 provides drug treatment for some offenders. 61 is undecided.
The three Multnomah County bond measures — providing money to the Oregon Zoo, Portland Community College and the Children's Initiative — all passed.
Gathering momentum on the morning after the election, a coalition of national, state and local elected officials Wednesday announced a new initiative to repair the tanked economy.
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, Portland Mayor-elect Sam Adams, Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler, and Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard announced plans for a news conference Thursday, Nov. 6, on the need for a federal investment in road and bridge improvements to create jobs and boost the economy.
The group – all Democrats — will be joined by local union representatives and transportation officials outlining specific priorities for infrastructure repair that they say could create local jobs.
The officials say the location of their Thursday news conference, in a parking lot between Southeast 11th and 12th Avenues on Madison St., is the site of one of several proposed repaving and reconstruction projects that could be funded in the event Congress approves an economic stimulus package that addresses infrastructure needs.

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