When Clackamas County folks went to bed Monday night, they were represented in the Oregon House of Representatives by five Democrats and five Republicans. Twenty-four hours later, there were eight Democrats and just two Republicans.
Only three new legislators who ran against incumbents were able to win across the state and they all represent our county. None of them had ever run for public office. Congratulations to:
Courtney Neron, HD26, representing Wilsonville and west into Washington County. She was outspent more than 5:1 but defeated incumbent Richard Vial, of Scholls, by over 1,000 votes, 12,316 to 11,339. A teacher, she said the positive door-to-door response and interest in education was huge. She decided to run when nominee Ryan Spiker withdrew for health reasons. “No one should be unopposed,” she said.
Rachel Prusak, HD37, West Linn, Lake Grove and eastern Tualatin. Knocking off Julie Parrish is the biggest coup of all in 2018. Prusak, a nurse practitioner, had strong financial support and built a solid campaign team around members of the Oregon Nurses Association. She won, 15,735 to 14,241.
Anna Williams, HD52 includes the Northeastern area of Clackamas County including Sandy, along with Hood River County and part of East Multnomah County. She took out the appointed incumbent, Jeff Helfrich, a retired police officer; they both live in Hood River. Williams still had less votes in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, but a significant Democratic swing in Clackamas and the voters in her Hood River base provided the winning margin. She won, 15,283 to 14,419.
All of our county’s Democratic legislators won re-election, as did Congressman Kurt Schrader (5th CD) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (3rd CD), though the county didn’t vote for Blumenauer. His Portland-based support was overwhelming.
Three major disappointments occurred; the county failed to support Kate Brown’s re-election effort, though Governor Brown of course prevailed in the state. Unfortunately Charles Gallia’s attempt to unseat State Sen. Alan Olsen failed, and so did Pamela White’s campaign to replace incompetent County Clerk Sherry Hall.
Part of the county comprises Metro’s 2nd District, where the open seat contest saw Christine Lewis, of West Linn, defeat Lake Oswego City Councilor Joe Buck, 37,560 to 36,608.
Statewide turnout exceeded 2016 by some 100,000 voters, with 68.32 percent (1,887,534 of 2,762,919) compared to Clackamas County’s 66.83 percent (192,714 of 288,632).