McLeod-Skinner, Kotek Clinch Nominations as Oregon Counts Primary Ballots

Joan McGuire

Early primary results show success for progressive Democrats, a crowded Republican Field — and outstanding ballots from Clackamas County

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Ballots in the Oregon primary are still being counted — and one populous county has yet to submit any results — but several races showed definitive leads as of midday Wednesday.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday Clackamas County — the third most populous county in the state — was the only Oregon county not to have posted any election results. Its tardiness prompted a Tuesday-night statement from Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, who noted that her office and other counties had offered “extra personnel” to help with timely reporting. The county had expected delays in reporting due to a printing error that affected two-thirds of ballots, but Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall had told The Oregonian that results would be posted at 8:10 p.m. Tuesday despite the error.

“While I am confident that the process they are following is secure, transparent and the results will be accurate, the county’s reporting delays tonight are unacceptable. Voters have done their jobs, and now it’s time for Clackamas County Elections to do theirs,” Fagan wrote.

By noon Wednesday, the Oregon Secretary of State’s page showed results from Clackamas County numbering in thousands or hundreds. More than 300,00 people were registered to vote in the county as of 2020, according to data from the Secretary of State.

In the race for governor, former Oregon house speaker Tina Kotek fended off a challenge from state treasurer Tobias Read in a race that was called early Tuesday night. As of noon Wednesday Kotek had received 55.79% of votes to Read’s 32.11%.

She now moves on to face the winner of the crowded Republican primary in November.

Oregon House Minority Leader Christine Drazan won the Republican primary with around 25% of the vote, runnning several points ahead of the other 18 challengers for Republican’s shot at the governor’s office. 

(A previous version of this article said Drazan was ahead, but the race had not been called for her.) 

In what may have been the biggest upset of the night, emergency response coordinator and small business owner Jamie McLeod-Skinner is leading incumbent representative Kurt Schrader 61% to 39% as of Wednesday morning in the Oregon Democrat’s 5th district primary. McLeod-Skinner ran to the left of Schrader, capitalizing on Schrader’s frequent breaks with Congressional Democrats over prescription drug reform and his lack of support for the Build Back Better act.

Former Happy Valley mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer has already won the crowded Republican primary to compete with McLeod-Skinner for the 5th district, with 41.88% of the vote.

State legislator Andrea Salinas won the nomination to represent Democrats in Oregon’s newly created 6th district. If elected in November, Salinas would be the Latinx person to represent Oregon in Congress.

Salinas will likely face off against Lake Oswego business owner Mike Erickson, who currently leads Oregon state representative Ron Noble 35% to 20%, to represent Republicans for the new seat.

Val Hoyle, commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries, was chosen decisively by Democrats in Oregon’s 4th district, where Democrats competed for a seat vacated by the retiring Peter DeFazio. Hoyle held 65% of the vote as of this morning.

In the nonpartisan race for state Labor Commissioner, employment lawyer Christina Stephenson had 47% of the vote as of noon Wednesday. If Stephenson does not secure more than 50% of the vote, a runoff in November will decide the winner of the office. Republican state representative Cheri Helt in second at 19.5% and Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla at 14%.

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