Breaking Down Statewide Election Results in OR, WA

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaking during the MAXX Convention in October.

Washington credit union advocacy in action

Washington saw 100 CULAF-supported candidates and incumbents elected, thanks in large part to the work by credit union key contacts who helped to financially support pro credit union candidates. That also included newly-elected State Treasurer Duane Davidson, the current Benton County Treasurer and a friend of credit unions.

Governor Jay Inslee, the first Washington Governor to speak from the MAXX Convention stage sharing his personal connection to credit unions through Children’s’ Miracle Network Hospitals, was also re-elected to a second term.

“Washington is the number one economy in the country, and credit unions are a major part of that,” Inslee said at MAXX, adding that he was a “proud member of the credit union team.”

The Washington State Senate will continue to be run by the Majority Coalition Caucus, a partnership between the 24 Republican members and Democrat Tim Sheldon from the 35th district. The Democrats will remain in control of the House with a few races still too close to call, the final results will be certified by November 29th.

“We are eager and excited to work with the large number of credit union champions in the Legislature,” added Paula Sardinas, NWCUA VP of Legislative Affairs. “Washington credit unions and their members represent the backbone of the state’s economy, and we look forward to sharing that work.”

Next steps in Washington

Your NWCUA Governmental Affairs team will be attending organization days in Olympia this week, meeting with key members of the Senate and again in early-December with the House. These will be important days for advancing credit unions’ legislative agenda in Olympia.

To learn more or to get involved, reach out to the team directly through Samantha Beeler, or Paula Sardinas.

Oregon credit union candidates returning to Salem

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown celebrates after being elected to complete the final two years of her term. Photo: KOIN 6.

On Election Day, as Oregon voters watched the country turn “red,” Oregon continued its tradition of “blue” with the election of a Democratic Governor, State Treasurer, Attorney General and Democratic control of both the Oregon House and Senate.

Kate Brown won her first election as Governor, filling the term vacated by John Kitzhaber. She won with a strong showing of 50 percent to 43 percent for Republican Bud Pierce, compared to the Presidential race which reported 50 percent Clinton and 39 percent Trump in Oregon.

In the race for State Treasurer, Democrat State Rep. Tobias Read won with 43 percent of the vote. Also, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum was re-elected, winning 54 percent of the vote.

The surprise of the night was the victory of Republican Dennis Richardson as Secretary of State.

In this tight race, candidate Dennis Richardson was 47 percent over the current Labor Commissioner, Brad Avakian, who received 43 percent. Richardson maintained that he wanted to run the office in a nonpartisan fashion. He also said he wanted to help businesses to come to Oregon, review the office’s elections division and make the state more accountable and transparent.

Until this race, Oregon Republicans had been shut out in successive statewide elections dating to 2002, when U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith won re-election. Democrats have held the Secretary of State’s office since 1985 and last lost a race for Governor in 1982, when Gov. Vic Atiyeh beat Democrat Ted Kulongoski.

Oregon Senate

Oregon Republicans picked up one seat in the Senate, changing it from supermajority of 18 Democrats and 12 Republicans to a 17-13 split.

Oregon Republicans picked up one seat in the Senate, changing it from supermajority of 18 Democrats and 12 Republicans to a 17-13 split. This is a significant issue in the state capitol as Republicans will now have a “backstop” for legislation they oppose.

That seat was Senate District 3, formerly held by Sen. Alan Bates, who passed away earlier this year.

Democrat Tonia Moro conceded victory Wednesday to Republican Alan DeBoer in the tight and sometimes testy race, despite the latest returns showing them just 535 votes apart. DeBoer, 65, owner of TC Chevrolet in Ashland and Airport Chevrolet in Medford, is a lifelong Ashland resident who served as the city’s mayor from 2001 to 2004 after serving two years on the City Council and eight years on the Ashland School Board.

The other two Senate races insiders were watching were incumbents Arnie Roblan (SD5) and Laurie Monnes Anderson (SD25).

Polling in coastal communities have continued to show a more conservative bent with Republican statewide candidates and conservative ballot measures winning in those areas. Democrat Arnie Roblan had his toughest race of his political career winning 48 percent to Republican challenger Dick Anderson’s 47 percent—only a 294 vote difference!

Democrat Laurie Monnes Anderson won with a strong victory of 54 percent over her challenger Tamie Tlustos-Arnold at 40 percent.

Oregon House

“We are especially thankful to the key contacts in Oregon for their hard work in getting out to meet, educate and financially support pro credit union candidates,” added Pamela Leavitt, NWCUA Policy Advisor, Oregon State Advocacy and Grassroots.

Not one seat in the Oregon House changed—keeping the Democratic control at 35 to 25. The Democratic Leadership had hoped to pick up one seat to give them a supermajority at 36 seats. However, regardless of party, there will be 14 new members of the Oregon House of Representatives who will be facing challenging issues and a major budget crisis.

Some of the key house races were:

HD20 (Salem-area): Incumbent Paul Evens (D) won 52 percent over challenger Laura Morett, who claimed 47 percent;

HD22 (Woodburn-area): This was an open seat and Democrat Teresa Alonso Leon beat Patti Milne, 54 to 44 percent. Milne ran against Senate President Peter Courtney in 2014;

HD24 (McMinnville): This open seat (Rep. Weidner), saw Republican Ron Noble beat Democrat Ken Moore, 55 to 44 percent;

HD26 (Wilsonville): Another open seat, with Rich Vial, a Republican, besting Ray Lister 55 to 44 percent;

HD30 (Hillsboro-area): Among the races where Nike’s Phil Knight contributed. In this case $50,000 to Republican Dan Mason. Democrat Janeen Sollman won with 52 to 39 percent.

Two of the hottest contested races in the state were in Clackamas County, HD40 and HD51.

HD40: Democrat Mark Meek won the seat vacated by Brent Barton. Meek, a realtor from Gladstone, defeated Oregon City School Board member Evon Tekorius 51 to 43 percent;

HD51: In a district spanning Clackamas and Multnomah counties, businesswoman Janelle Bynum, an African American McDonalds franchisee, narrowly (50 to 48 percent) beat her Republican opponent, Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a Latina business owner who was the first woman picked to lead the suburban Clackamas County city.

Measure 97

Polling showed the last week of the election that Measure 97 was going to be defeated—which turned out to be correct.

The $3 billion tax increase Democrats were counting on fill a budget hole, went from 60 percent support in a Sept. 8 poll to losing 59 percent 40 percent as of mid-day Wednesday.

The campaigns for and against the ballot measure raised the most money ever over a ballot measure in Oregon. By the week before Election Day, combined fundraising for the two campaigns had reached $40 million. Opponents of the measure outspent proponents of the measure; the anti-Measure 97 campaign, the Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales Committee, raised almost $26 million, while the pro-Measure 97 committee Yes on 97 raised $14 million.

Moving forward to Oregon’s legislative ession

With the election in the rearview, eyes now turn to the 2017 legislative session, where those who won will now face three substantial issues, starting with crafting a two-year budget. Even though Oregon will have $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in additional revenue next biennium, the gap between revenues and the amount needed to fund current services will be about $1.4 billion.

Two additional looming issues are pension reform, and the need to craft a transportation package. Gridlock costs individuals and businesses thousands of dollars a year in lost productivity and increased transportation expense.

Additional election information

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222,



Posted in Advocacy News, NWCUA.