Incumbents cruise in Westside legislative primaries
Unofficial results from the Tuesday, May 17, primary election have been rolling in.
As Democrats and Republicans make their selections in party primaries for legislative races across Washington County, not every race has a clear-cut winner or loser.
Here's the situation as of Friday morning, May 20, as reported by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office.
• Senate District 13 (R): John Velez. The Sherwood real estate agent and city volunteer didn't face an opponent for his party's nomination, with incumbent Sen. Kim Thatcher instead running in a more competitive Marion County-based district.
• Senate District 15 (D): Janeen Sollman. After being appointed to fill out ex-Sen. Chuck Riley's term in January, the former Hillsboro state representative and school board member had an uncontested path to her party's nomination as she seeks a full term.
• Senate District 15 (R): Carolina Malmedal. The owner of a plumbing company, she didn't face any opposition for her party's nomination — despite being a political newcomer — in a Senate seat that has trended markedly in favor of Democrats in recent years.
• Senate District 16 (D): Melissa Busch. The home health nurse was passed over for appointment in January to serve out the remainder of former Sen. Betsy Johnson's term, but she'll have a shot at a full term after winning the Democratic primary without a contest, as appointed Sen. Rachel Armitage pledged not to run this year.
• Senate District 16 (R): Suzanne Weber. Not having faced a primary opponent, the one-term state representative and former Tillamook mayor ought to have an excellent chance this fall at flipping this sprawling Democratic-held Senate seat, which includes the North Coast, Columbia County, and parts of rural Washington and Yamhill counties.
• Senate District 17 (D): Elizabeth Steiner Hayward. Originally appointed to succeed now-U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici after she was elected to Congress, the Portland doctor has held down her old Senate seat ever since. She didn't face an opponent in this year's primary.
• Senate District 17 (R): John Verbeek. The Dutch-born perennial candidate has run against and lost to Steiner Hayward twice before, in 2012 and 2014, and after facing no opposition for the Republican nomination this year, he's likely in line to do so again. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in this district nearly four to one.
• Senate District 18 (D): Wlnsvey Campos. A school-based health advocate from Aloha, she was the youngest member of the House when she was elected two years ago, and in her bid for this open Senate seat, she appears to have secured the Democratic nomination. This is a special election due to the retirement of former Sen. Ginny Burdick, although the new district has 0% commonality with the district Burdick represented. Appointed Sen. Akasha Lawrence Spence decided not to run, which would have required her to move to Washington County.
• Senate District 18 (R): Kimberly Rice. She lost an Aloha-area House race two years ago as the Republican nominee and will again represent her party in the general election for this Aloha- and Beaverton-area Senate seat in November. Democrats hold about a two-to-one edge in party registration in the district.
• Senate District 19 (D): Rob Wagner. The Senate majority leader and former Lake Oswego School District board chair unsurprisingly didn't face an opponent running for his party's nomination in this district, which includes Tualatin, Lake Oswego and West Linn.
• Senate District 19 (R): Ben Edtl. Fresh off falling well short of election to the Tigard City Council in 2020, the conservative activist and Free Oregon founder moved to Tualatin, where he appears to have won the Republican nomination in a two-way race. The November election is a different story, as registered Democrats outnumber Republicans here by a two-to-one margin.
• House District 25 (D): Ben Bowman. The Tigard-Tualatin School District's board president ran unopposed for the Democratic primary, and he's cruising to nomination with nearly 100% of the vote.
• House District 25 (R): Bob Niemeyer. The Republican nominee to represent Tigard in the House in 2018 and 2020 will be the Republican nominee in 2022, too. This is a brand-new district that has more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans.
• House District 26 (D): Courtney Neron. The two-term state representative, who lives in Wilsonville, didn't draw a primary challenger and will now advance to the general election.
• House District 26 (R): Jason Fields. A tree farmer in rural Newberg with some prominent local backers, he holds a significant lead over his primary opponent. Republicans would like to flip this district red again after Neron defeated then-Rep. Rich Vial four years ago, and it could be a key battleground in November.
• House District 27 (D): Ken Helm. First elected to Cedar Mill-based House District 24 in 2014, the incumbent state representative is running in a new district, where he will carry the Democratic Party's torch in a new Beaverton-based district that ought to be safe blue territory.
• House District 27 (R): Sandra Nelson. An educator who has centered her campaign around constitutional principles, she ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.
• House District 28 (D): Dacia Grayber. State representative for House District 35 for just one term, she ran unopposed for her party's nomination in this new district based in Southwest Portland and Garden Home.
• House District 28 (R): Patrick Castles. Two years after earning the Republican nomination in a Lake Oswego-based House district, Patrick Castles will be the nominee in another district where Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans.
• House District 29 (D): Susan McLain. Seeking a fifth term representing Forest Grove, Cornelius and parts of Hillsboro, the retired teacher and debate coach ran unopposed in the primary.
• House District 29 (R): Gina Munster-Moore. The vineyard owner and political newcomer had a clear path to her party's nomination in one of the few metro-area districts that has been trending favorably for Republicans. She heads into the general election as an underdog, but this has the potential to be a competitive race.
• House District 30 (D): Nathan Sosa. Despite the appointment for this Hillsboro seat drawing significant interest earlier this year, the Hillsboro Schools Foundation head and appointed state representative was unopposed for the Democratic nomination as he seeks a full term.
• House District 30 (R): Joe Everton. The software engineer fell just a few hundred votes short in a bid for a seat on the Hillsboro School District's board of directors last year. In this year's Republican House primary, he appears to have won a contested primary for the Republican nomination. He faces an uphill battle in the fall in a district that has moved sharply leftward over the past decade.
• House District 31 (D): Anthony Sorace. The chair of the Columbia County Democratic Party, he ran unopposed for his party's nomination after Rep. Brad Witt announced he would instead run for a House seat in the Salem area.
• House District 31 (R): Brian Stout. After holding Witt to a single-digit win in 2018 and falling short by just a few hundred votes in 2020, he appears to have won the Republican nomination once again in a district that represents one of the GOP's best pickup opportunities in the Oregon House this year.
• House District 33 (D): Maxine Dexter. The first-term state representative ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. She ought to be overwhelmingly favored to return to the House in a district that has mostly shifted out of Washington County into Northwest Portland.
• House District 33 (R): Stan Baumhofer. A former aide to Connie McCready, the last Republican mayor of Portland, Baumhofer ran for the Republican nomination unopposed.
• House District 34 (D): Lisa Reynolds. The progressive pediatrician won election to represent Northwest Portland-based House District 36 two years ago but has since moved to Oak Hills to run in this new district. She has won the Democratic nomination in this heavily Democratic district in northern Washington County. She enters the general election as a decided favorite.
• House District 34 (R): John Woods. The retired electronics technician was the only Republican to file in a redrawn district where registered Democrats well outnumber registered Republicans.
• House District 35 (D): Farrah Chaichi. A progressive activist and city volunteer in Beaverton who was backed by outgoing Rep. Wlnsvey Campos, she has taken a big step toward winning this House seat by appearing to win the Democratic nomination.
• House District 35 (R): Daniel Martin. The Beaverton Republican was his party's nominee last year in House District 28 and ran unopposed for the nomination in its successor district this year. The general election will be a lot harder, with nearly thrice as many registered Democrats than Republicans in this district.
• House District 36 (D): Hai Pham. The dentist and Vietnam War refugee didn't face any opposition in the Democratic primary. He'll move on to the general election in this brand-new district, where he ought to be favored to win in November.
• House District 36 (R): Jeff Hindley. Two years after running unsuccessfully for Washington County commissioner, the Yamhill County juvenile justice administrator had a clear path to the Republican nomination for House. His party would like to contest this seat, where Democrats enjoy a healthy registration edge but Republicans have some strength in rural areas.
• House District 37 (D): Jules Walters. The mayor of West Linn was a late entrant into the race after Rep. Rachel Prusak announced days before the filing deadline she wouldn't seek a third term. No other Democrat filed.
• House District 37 (R): Aeric Estep. A podcaster, account manager and county volunteer, he sought the Republican nomination and didn't draw a primary opponent. Republicans face an uphill but not impossible challenge to return this Tualatin- and West Linn-area district to the fold after Prusak ousted then-Rep. Julie Parrish four years ago.
• Senate District 18 (D): Alisa Blum. The progressive activist lost her bid for the Democratic nomination for House in Aloha two years ago. Running for Senate against the same opponent this May, she won't be the Democratic nominee. She's losing in the two-candidate primary by a 68-point spread.
• Senate District 19 (R): Wendy O'Riley. A political newcomer and tax department manager, she looks to have fallen short in the Republican primary by about 35 percentage points.
• House District 25 (R): Gabriel Buehler. The political director of Free Oregon has made up a little ground since the first batch of ballots were counted, but with just 43.6% of the vote, it's clear he will not be the Republican nominee.
• House District 26 (R): Glenn Lancaster. A political newcomer who lives in the retirement community of Charbonneau, he is running well behind his primary opponent in a two-way race for the nomination with about 29.7% of the vote.
• House District 27 (D): Tammy Carpenter. Running as a progressive challenger to a sitting state representative, she appears to have fallen short of the Democratic nomination with 38% of the vote.
• House District 28 (R): Charles Mengis. This race was too close to call on election night, but the political newcomer has slipped further back from what would have already been a very tough deficit to overcome, now holding just 43.2% of the vote in a two-way race.
• House District 30 (R): Todd Morrill. A retired accountant and political newcomer, he won't be his party's nominee as he trails his one opponent by about 29 points.
• House District 31 (R): Drew Layda. The Libertarian Party's nominee for Congressional District 1 in 2018 will not be Republicans' standard-bearer in November. He is losing the nomination by about 27 points in a two-way race.
• House District 34 (D): Jennifer Kinzey. An attorney challenging a sitting state representative in the Democratic primary, she only won 15% of the vote, according to early results.
• House District 35 (D): Zeloszelos Marchandt. Bidding to become Oregon's first transgender lawmaker, and one of its few Black or Native legislators, he appears to have fallen short in the Democratic primary by about 23 points.
Too close to call
• Senate District 13 (D): Wilsonville planning commissioner and Clackamas Community College board member Aaron Woods and West Linn-Wilsonville School District board chair Chelsea King are facing off in this primary. More votes remain to be counted, especially in slow-reporting Clackamas County, but Woods is leading. He has 54.1% of the vote to 45.4% for King. With conservative parts of the Willamette Valley drawn out of the district and solidly blue Tigard added, the winner ought to be favored to flip this Republican-held Senate seat in November.
Editor's note: This story has been updated Friday, May 20, with new unofficial vote totals and calls in HD 25 and HD 28's Republican primaries.
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