Helfrich declares win in House 52 race
After an election-night shift, former House District 52 Rep. Jeff Helfrich, R-Hood River, remains in the lead, ahead of opponent Darcy Long, D-The Dalles. As of 8:45 a.m. Nov. 14, Helfrich has 52.37% of the vote to Long's 47.5% of the votes counted thus far.
While Long has not provided a comment on the early results thus far, Helfrich has seemingly already declared victory, posting this to his campaign Facebook account on Sunday:
"We did it. I can't tell you how honored I am to have been elected as the next representative from District 52. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me, and volunteered making calls and knocking on doors. Thank you to everyone who gave their time and resources to make this happen. And a special thank you to my wife and children who were my biggest supporters. You're the reason I did this. The voters of this district have sent a clear message. They are tired of the same politics as usual. They are ready for someone to come in and get things done for the district. I'm ready to do that. Let's get to work."
An update by Clackamas County at 10:45 p.m. swapped the candidates' positions, but also narrowed the gap between them even more. Results from 8:10 p.m. Nov. 8, had Long leading by a 0.99% margin, but now since Helfrich has pulled ahead, that margin is has slowly grown to 4.87% more of the votes counted.
Helfrich was appointed to the position in December 2017 to complete the term of former Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River, after he resigned mid-term. Helfrich later lost the seat to current Rep. Anna Williams, D-Hood River, in the 2018 election.
Before entering legislative office, Helfrich was a longtime public servant, serving on the Cascade Locks Planning Commission and City Council, the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District Board, in the Air Force during the Gulf War and as a Portland police sergeant.
Long owns and operates her own small business helping entrepreneurs navigate financial management, and she has also served on The Dalles City Council for the past six years.
Long has yet to provide comment.
As of Nov. 9, Long had posted to her campaign Facebook page: "HD 52 is currently too close to call. We're staying optimistic, let's be patient and let all the votes be counted. I appreciate our very professional elections staff and our wonderful, secure vote by mail system. To everyone who has supported my campaign, thank you for voting for me, donating to my campaign and knocking doors with me no matter the weather."
House District 52 stretches from The Dalles in Wasco County through the Gorge to East Gresham, including Corbett, and includes part of rural Sandy, Boring and the Mount Hood communities.
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