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The Columbia City Republican will head to his third straight general election.

COURTESY PHOTO: BRIAN STOUT FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE - Brian G. StoutWill the third time be the charm for Brian G. Stout?

The Columbia City Republican and business owner handily won the Republican nomination for House District 31 on Tuesday, May 17, unofficial election results show. In early results, he has a commanding lead over Drew A. Layda with 63.1% of the vote to 36.4% for Layda.

Stout lost by a single-digit margin in 2018, running as an underfunded, inexperienced challenger against Clatskanie Democrat Brad Witt, who has represented House District 31 since 2005.

Stout came even closer in 2020, falling short of an upset victory by just a few hundred votes.

This year represents Stout's best opportunity yet. Redistricting has transferred heavily Democratic suburbs of Portland in northern Washington County into neighboring districts. The district also gained more conservative rural areas of western Washington County, including Banks and Gaston.

Witt announced last fall he wouldn't run for re-election in House District 31, saying redistricting moved the district too far toward Republicans for him to feel like he could win. Instead, Democrats will nominate Anthony Sorace, chair of the Columbia County Democratic Party, who ran unopposed for his party's nomination.

Layda has his own electoral history, but not as a Republican. He was the Libertarian Party of Oregon's nominee for Congressional District 1 in 2018, garnering about 4% of the vote. He has since switched his party affiliation to Republican.

Witt did end up filing to run for House — in Salem. Early results show him trailing his leading Democratic primary opponent, Tom Andersen, by about 6 percentage points in House District 19.


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