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Democrats Likely To Hold Majorities in State Legislature


Democrats are on track to keep control of the Oregon house and improve their margins in the state senate.

In Corvallis, Democrat Sara Gelser defeated Republican Betsy Close to take the District 8 seat in the Oregon Senate. This race turned out to be one of the hardest fought legislative races this year.
Eugene Democratic State Representative Phil Barnhart won handily over his Republican challenger Andy Peterson with 58 percent of the vote. At an election watch party Tuesday Barnhart said his opponent outspent him and relied on negative campaigning. Barnhart said his 6 year old grandson usually picked up the mail in their house- including negative campaign flyers.

Barnhart "So he was trying to sound out some of the words that we can't even say on the radio. Because it had grandpa's picture on it, right? His mother saw him doing that and decided it was going to be her job to pick up the mail for the last 2 weeks of the campaign. That's how bad it got."

Democratic Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene defeated his GOP challenger, Cheryl Mueller. Representative Val Hoyle, also a Democrat from Eugene was beating her Republican challenger, Kathy Lamberg. With Governor John Kitzhaber's re-election victory, all levels of state government are poised to remain in Democratic hands.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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