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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
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by John Watt, JWA Public Affairs
Election Results  State of Oregon
The governor’s race took center stage in the state and promised to be hotly contested. Challenger Knute Buehler (R-Bend), a two-term state representative, faced off with incumbent Kate Brown (D-Portland). After a hard-fought battle, Brown prevailed and won by 6% points. Brown, a long-time politician, has served in elected office since 1991. Brown will lead the state with democrats in control of both legislative houses.
In the state Senate race, Alan DeBoer (R-Ashland) chose not to run for a second term leaving the district 3 race without an incumbent. Jessica Gomez (R-Medford), local business owner and Chamber board member, challenged TV and radio commentator Jeff Golden (D-Ashland) for the possesion of the vacant senate seat. Ms. Gomez is CEO of Rogue Valley Microdevices a world class supplier of thin film services. Mr. Golden , a former Jackson County commissioner and TV commentator was the winner of the race. Sen.-elect Golden will join democratic colleagues in Salem and will be a part of a senate super-majority. The only other senators serving Jackson County, Sen. Baertschiger and Sen. Lithicum , were not up for re-election. On the State House of Representatives side, all representatives run every two years. With Rep. Sal Esquivel’s retirement from the District 6 seat, Michelle Blum Atkinson (D-Medford), retired business owner, faced off against Kim Wallan (R-Medford). Ms. Wallan, attorney and former Medford school board member, won the race and will begin her service in January 2019. In the District 5 race, Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), was victorious over Sandra Abecrombie (R-Ashland). Rep. Marsh will return to the capitol for her second term as a member of the democratic House super majority. In other House races in Jackson County, both Rep. Mike McLane (R-Prineville) and Rep. Duane Stark (R-Grants Pass) won re-elections by wide margins. Statewide Ballot Measures There were five statewide ballot measures on the ballot in the November election: Measure 102 amends constitution: Allows local bonds for financing affordable housing with nongovernmental entities. Requires voter approval, annual audits. This measure passed by a margin of 56% to 43%. Measure 103 amends constitution: Prohibits taxes/fees based on transactions for 'groceries' (defined) enacted or amended after September 2017. This measure failed by a margin of 42% to 57%. Measure 104 amends constitution: Expands (beyond taxes) application of requirement that three-fifths legislative majority approve bills raising revenue. This measure failed by a margin of 34% to 65%. Measure 105: Repeals law limiting use of state/local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws. This measure failed by a margin of 36% to 63%. Measure 106 amends constitution: Prohibits spending 'public funds' (defined) directly/indirectly for 'abortion' (defined); exceptions; reduces abortion access. This measure failed by a margin of 35% to 64%. Oregonians had a real concern about ballot measures that amended Oregon’s constitution, as witnessed by their margins of defeat. The final two measures although not amending the constitution, were measures fueled by concern over all the press coverage. Both were perceived to have impact on national issues. Jackson County Elections There were two county commission spots up for election. Both were contested races. In the position 1 race, Rick Dyer (R) was the incumbent and was running for a second term. He was challenged by Amy Thuren (D) and Libertarian Frank Brannen. Mr. Dyer won by 53%. In the position 3 contest, incumbent Colleen Roberts (R) faced Lanita Witt (D) and Libertarian Edward Stanton. Ms. Roberts won a second term to begin in January 2019.Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker did not have an opponent while Sheriff Nate Sickler won his first full four-year term over challenger Bill Froehlich. Jackson County Ballot Measure Only one county-wide ballot measure landed on this election cycle: 15-181 jackson county expands definition of firearms and limits enforcement of firearms laws. It was soundly defeated by a margin of 56% to 44%. City of Medford
Mayor Gary Wheeler is in the middle of a four-year term and was not on the general election ballot. However, all four Medford wards had council position up for election. In Ward 1 there was crowded field that included Curt Ankerberg, Alex Poythress, Steve Dickson and David Dobrin. Mr. Poythress was the winner with 37.32% of the vote. The results in Ward 2 was with two candidates, incumbent Clay Bearnson and Jim Herndon. At press time the vote was very close and a recount may be in order. Ward 3 had three candidates running. They were incumbent Kevin Stine, Don Libby and Glenda Wilson. Mr. Stine will retain his seat after gaining 41.72% of the total vote. Ward 4 incumbent Michael Zarosinski will retaining his seat on the council having defeated Lewis Severson. Other election results from around the state may be obtained from the Oregon Secretary of State. http://results.oregonvotes.gov/
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