Annessa Hartman's lead widens in House District 40 race
Gladstone City Councilor Annessa Hartman is on track to beat out two other Democrats for the nomination of their party in the election to replace Rep. Mark Meek, who is creating an open seat in House District 40 by running for the Oregon Senate this year.
Along with Hartman, Democratic candidates included two Oregon City residents who are involved in health care.
As of Thursday evening, Hartman's lead increased from 47% to nearly 49% of the vote in the May 17 election. Hartman's closest competitor, Charles Gallia, fell from 39% to 35% after two more days of ballot counting. 15% for James Farley is trailing at third place with 15% of the vote.
Results are only tentative, and Clackamas County counting most votes manually due to a printing error. Over 60% of the county's ballots were affected by the faulty printing of barcodes, and County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall said the error is affecting a higher proportion of Democratic ballots.
Only 291 Democratic votes in HD40 were counted by election night, but later ballots were skewing to Hartman as 815 votes were counted in the race by the end of Thursday. By comparison, 7,772 Democratic voters cast votes in HD40 in May 2016, the last time there was a competitive primary in the district.
Following the delays, Hartman announced her support for unseating Hall in November by electing Catherine McMullen so voters can regain trust in their county clerk and the election process.
"We were supposed to receive the first numbers at 8:15 p.m. (but we) did not receive them until 8:40...When we finally received the numbers, it was time-stamped for 7:14," Hartman said. "Overall I'm incredibly disappointed in the Clackamas County Elections Office. We are now getting word that we won't know results until June. That's right, June!"
HD40 will continue under largely the same boundaries following newly-redistricted maps taking effect in 2022, covering Oregon City, Gladstone and parts of unincorporated Clackamas County. For the Republican nomination, a Gresham police officer went up against an Oregon City leader of the Proud Boys. One of them will go head-to-head on the November ballot with the Democratic pick.
Gallia, a former longtime employee of the Oregon Health Authority, serves as treasurer of the Clackamas County Community Health Council. He has chaired three different other groups: currently the Clackamas Fire District #1 Budget Committee and formerly the Clackamas County Democratic Party and Clackamas County Economic Development Commission.
Hartman has served on the caucuses for women and people of color in the League of Oregon Cities. A member of the Cayuga Nation, she's the marketplace and retail coordinator for the Native American Youth and Family Center, dedicated to empowering Native businesses.
Gallia pledged to make housing security a top priority, as Oregonians are concerned about homelessness and housing affordability. He said improving Oregon's health care system has been his life's work.
"Health care workers are at a breaking point. It is time for serious reform," he said.
If elected, Hartman would fund urgent repairs to Oregon's electrical grid, oppose ODOT's plan to toll I-205 and prioritize housing affordability.
"Grow our economy by increasing accessible and affordable childcare, so that families can get back to work," she wrote.
Both Hartman and Gallia received an endorsement from the Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon.
Former Gov. John Kitzhaber, former HD40 State Rep. Brent Barton, Clackamas County Commissioner Sonya Fischer and former Oregon City Mayor Alice Norris were among Gallia's endorsements, along with three members of the Oregon City School Board. Hartman's endorsements included State Reps. Rachel Prusak, Courtney Neron, Tawna Sanchez, Andrea Valderrama, Ricki Ruiz and Akasha Lawrence-Spence; Gladstone Councilors Matt Tracy and Tracy Todd; Gladstone School Board members Ginger Zimtbaum and Donna Diggs; and TriMet Board and North Clackamas School Board member Kathy Wai.
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