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Northwest Election Summary: Guns, Governors And Pot


The Republican capture of the U.S. Senate was the big national news last night. But in the Northwest, the toughest fights weren’t over Senate seats but ballot initiatives – on guns, pot and genetically engineered foods.

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Oregon became the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana. Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer said it’s a sign of what’s to come.

“This means that the marijuana reform train has left the station,” he said.

Oregon voters said no to a top-two primary and yes to giving Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber another term. A hotly contested measure to label genetically engineered foods is down, but still too close to call.

In Washington, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility asked voters to expand background checks and got a yes Tuesday night. Voters also turned down a competing measure to limit background checks.

And in Idaho, Republican Governor Butch Otter had no trouble defeating his big-spending Democratic challenger.

“We’re the reddest of the red states in the United States of America. Let’s stay that way!” he said to cheers.

But in the race for Idaho state schools chief, Republican Sherri Ybarra beat her Democratic opponent by just 5,700 votes.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson reported for four years from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as the network's Inland Northwest Correspondent. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covered the economic, demographic and environmental trends that have shaped places east of the Cascades. Jessica left the Northwest News Network in 2015 for a move to Norway.