Northwest Election Update
November 7, 2012
As predicted, Washington State’s gubernatorial race is still too close to call. Counties began reporting vote counts to the Secretary of State after polls closed last night, but they are not finished. The next round of vote counts will be reported at 4:30 p.m. today, and the outcome of the Governor’s race is not expected to be determined until late this week. As of this writing, the Northwest Credit Union Association-supported candidate Rob McKenna is down, holding 48.68 percent of the vote to Jay Inslee’s 51.32 percent.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell was re-elected along with all congressional incumbents. NWCUA-supported candidates for open seats in the U.S. House of Representatives Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck were all elected as well.
The secretary of state race remains too close to call, though NWCUA-supported candidate Kim Wyman holds a very narrow lead (50.39 percent as of this writing). In other statewide races (aside from the gubernatorial race), NWCUA-supported candidates are all winning: Lieutenant Gov. Brad Owen, State Treasurer Jim McIntire, and Attorney General candidate Bob Ferguson.
A quick look at the 100 NWCUA supported candidates in the State Senate and House show close races in seven of them, including Don Benton and Mary Margaret Haugen, two members of the Senate Financial Services Committee.
“Thank you to everyone who participated in this election—those who interviewed candidates, helped deliver PAC checks, and shared the list of NWCUA-supported candidates with your staff and members,” said Mark Minickiello, vice president of legislative affairs for the NWCUA. “No matter your political preference, it was an exciting election, and credit unions were well-represented. It will continue to be an exciting week as the final ballots get counted!”
With a very close Oregon Senate composed of 16 Democrats and 14 Republicans and a split Oregon House made up of 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans, all eyes were on several House and Senate races in Oregon that could give control to either party.
After last night’s election, the Democrats prevailed in almost all of the close legislative races, giving them a 34-26 majority in the House and maintaining their 16-14 lead in the Senate. More than $1 million was reportedly spent on some races.
In the most competitive races in the Oregon House, Democrats defeated four Republican freshmen in the House. The Republicans who lost last night included Rep. Shawn Lindsay of Hillsboro; Rep. Katie Eyre of Hillsboro; Rep. Patrick Sheehan of Clackamas; and Rep. Matt Wand of Gresham.
In Gresham, Wand lost to Chris Gorsek. In Washington County, Eyre lost to Ben Unger, while Lindsay was defeated by Joe Gallegos. In Clackamas and Multnomah counties, Sheehan lost to Shemia Fagan.
In Clackamas County, Democrat and former Rep. Brent Barton won the House District 40 seat held by outgoing Rep. Dave Hunt. In House District 37, Rep. Julie Parrish held a slim lead over Democrat Carl Hosticka.
Democratic House Leader Tina Kotek is expected to be elected Speaker of the Oregon House with Rep. Bruce Hanna leading the House Republicans.
On the Senate side, the two most competitive races were incumbent Laurie Monnes Anderson, the current House co-speaker running for Senate, and Rep. Arnie Roblan. Both beat tough Republican challengers to win their races, giving Democrats a 16-14 edge in the upper chamber. Senate President Peter Courtney will maintain the leadership position.
“Oregon credit unions did very well this election cycle winning all of the races we contributed CULAF (Credit Union Legislative Action Fund) money to, with the exception of three House races,” said Pam Leavitt, policy advisor to the NWCUA. “We supported two incumbents in Washington County that lost—Rep. Katie Eyre and Rep. Shawn Lindsay.”
Credit unions also supported Joe Pishioneri in House District 12, an open seat. Pishioneri is a longtime credit union member and supporter. He lost to John Lively of Springfield.
Democrats also swept the statewide seats up for election. State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, a credit union-supported candidate, beat challengers to win 58 percent of the vote in his first statewide election. Incumbents Kate Brown, Secretary of State, and Brad Avakian, Bureau of Labor and Industries, beat competitive challengers and won with 50 percent and 51 percent, respectively. Newly appointed Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum won with 55 percent of the vote.
“The NWCUA would like to thank all the credit union advocates around the state for giving countless hours meeting with elected officials and candidates,” Leavitt said. “We worked hard to share the credit union message with those who would be going to Salem representing their district. Your advocacy benefits all in the credit union movement and is appreciated by the Association. Thank you!”
As expected, all of Oregon’s five incumbent members of Congress were re-elected handily. At the national level, Republicans retained clear control of the House of Representatives. In the U.S. Senate, Democrats are poised to boost their majority from 53 to 55, counting two independents who are expected to vote with the party.
Stay tuned to Anthem for continued updates.