Senate 26 seat anyone's game as of early results
Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, and his opponent Chrissy Reitz, D-Hood River, are running neck-and-neck according to early election results. As of 8 a.m. Nov. 7, Thomsen has taken the lead with 27,462 votes (50.54 percent of the vote) to Reitz's 26,799 votes and 49.32 percent of the vote.
With more than 54,332 votes tallied, the candidates are seperated by 663 votes.
Within hours Nov. 6, the two candidates traded spots at the top, with the initial votes projecting Thomsen to win, then flipping to Reitz with a 49.96-49.93 split around 10 p.m.
"We wish the margin was better," said John Swanson, Thomsen's campaign manager as the results began pouring in Nov. 6. "Typically, in the past, Chuck Thomsen's percentage has increased by 1.5 percent to 2 percent as final counts draw on. We knew it would be close. It's the price you pay for trying to stay positive."
Thomsen has served the district since 2011. Before taking his seat in Salem, Thomsen served for four years on the Hood River Planning Commission, 16 years on the Hood River County Commission and also volunteered with the Pine Grove Fire Department for 31 years while living and working on his family's pear farm.
According to his website, Sen. Thomsen's main goals in the Legislature are to "balance Oregon's budget without raising taxes, and promote economic growth through a better job economy."
As a member of the Hood River County School Board and a former neonatal nurse, the key components of Reitz' platform are children's education and health care.
Besides serving on the school board, Reitz is an active community volunteer, working to raise money for physical education classes with events like the Gorge Kids Triathlon, which she founded in 2011 to benefit Hood River Valley Elementary School.
"We're really optimistic about the early election results," a representative of Reitz's campaign stated on election night. "We thank everyone who voted and our supporters. We know it will take a while for all the votes to come in, and that every vote counts."
Senate District 26 encompasses parts of Hood River, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, including Sandy, Boring and the communities of Mount Hood and East Gresham.