State Rep. Susan McLain easily fended off a challenge from Republican David Molina on Tuesday, Nov. 6, unofficial election results show.
McLain, a Democrat from Forest Grove, won 58 percent of the vote, the tally from the Washington County Elections Division as of Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 7, shows. Molina took 40 percent, with most of the balance going to William Namestnik, a Libertarian.
"I feel really good about my outreach and my committment to that I really listen to voters and that I am listening and looking about what my constituents are saying in my communities — Cornelius, Forest Grove and Hillsboro — it is really nice to know that folks got out and we had a high voting turnout," McLain said Tuesday night. "It feels like we have a real foundation for involved citizens that really want their elected officials to really try and go forward with Oregon values. It just plain feels good."
Democrats enjoyed a good night in Oregon on Tuesday, flipping three House seats and one Senate seat to take supermajorities in both legislative chambers. Gov. Kate Brown won re-election in a race that many forecasters expected to be close, but which was called for the Democratic incumbent within half an hour of polls closing at 8 p.m.
McLain was pleased with the result.
"We are committed to making the schools the best they can possibly be, we are committed to dealing with the climate issues facing the planet and we really want to work on the economic vitality (so) our communities can succeed," she said. "I have to be honest, I haven't been this happy about an election night for a very long time."
The election result in House District 29 was never in serious doubt, with McLain out-fundraising Molina and donating some of her own campaign funds to help other Oregon House Democrats. HD 29 has more than 4,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, according to data from the secretary of state's office.
McLain is a retired educator who was a longtime speech and debate teacher at Glencoe High School in Hillsboro. She represented Washington County at Metro, the Portland-area regional government, for four terms before becoming the representative for HD 29 in 2014, succeeding Democratic Rep. Ben Unger.
HD 29 covers Forest Grove, Cornelius and parts of west Hillsboro.
Molina, a Forest Grove businessman and U.S. Army veteran, thanked supporters in a late-night email for joining him in "fighting the good fight for all Oregonians."
"Here's Oregon as I'm seeing it—if the numbers hold, Oregon's Democratic Party has become a Super Majority with unchecked powers," Molina wrote. If the election results in the gubernatorial and legislative races hold up, he added, "it is true that Oregon's Republican Party will have lost a battle. That does not mean that we have lost the war."
Democrats also defended Senate District 15, which contains HD 29. Hillsboro Democrat Chuck Riley won the seat by less than one percentage point over then-Sen. Bruce Starr four years ago. But according to unofficial results from Tuesday's election, Sen. Riley topped challenger Alexander Flores by nearly an 18-point spread.
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