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Friday, November 6, 2020

Democrats Prevail In County Voting

All eight Democratic incumbents in the Oregon House won re-election, as did newcomer Dacia Grayber in HD35, replacing retiring Margaret Doherty. All incumbent Democratic State Senators won, too. So did incumbent Members of Congress Earl Blumenauer (3rd) and Kurt Schrader (5th).

In the south end of the county, the Republicans prevailed in the two House races, to no real surprise, and the county’s chief Child Services Safety Levy went down to defeat. Joe Biden won the county with 59.51%, as compared to his state-wide figure of 57.13%.

Our county will have three new Democratic mayors: Jules Walters in West Linn, Joe Buck in Lake Oswego and Julie Fitzgerald in Wilsonville. Two incumbent D council members were also re-elected in Wilsonville. And two of the three new Lake Oswego councilors are Democrats.

Our own Jan Lee lost her Sandy City Council race but won re-election to the Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District board.

All Democratic state-wide candidates—from US Sen. Jeff Merkley to the Attorney General and Treasurer -- were re-elected easily, while State Sen. Shemia Fagan, a Happy Valley resident, won 51.6% of the vote to become Oregon’s new Secretary of State.

Fagan’s advancement will create an open Senate Seat in our county. It will be filled by appointment as the Precinct Committee People in each county (Clackamas and Multnomah) will meet to put forth a slate of names which they will then give to their respective county commissioners who, in turn, will make the actual appointment. 

If the new senator is State Rep. Janelle Bynum, also of Happy Valley, then the same procedure will be undertaken after her appointment to find a successor for her House seat. State law mandates the newly appointed legislator must be of the same party—Democratic in both cases.

In the bigger picture, it is still unclear as to the level of Democratic majority in the State Senate as two races are being re-counted, neither involving Clackamas County.   House Democrats may have lost a piece of their majority.  Republicans took a formerly Democratic seat on the North Coast as well as in Coos County. Actual impact remains to be seen. 

It looks like Democrat Garrett Rosenthal, of Stafford, is the new Metro councilor from the Third District, which includes far southwestern Clackamas County and a big chunk of Washington County.

At this writing, state-wide voter turnout was 81.49%, according to the Secretary of State’s office, while Clackamas numbers were much lower, though they usually trend the same as state-wide. (More on that as figures are updated.)  Clackamas Neighborhood Leaders saw turnout at the 90-plus% rate in their turfs. That is a major bump for local Democrats.

School bond elections were favorably received except in Estacada. And the state’s biggest transportation money measure, a multi-billion dollar program involving Metro and its counties and cities went down nearly 2:1, as big downtown Portland businesses decided this was a wrong time for such a measure and fought it successfully.