Raz Mason concedes in race for Senate 26
Around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, Raz Mason, D-The Dalles, informed her supporters online that vote counts were not in her favor.
She posted "Campaigning for this position was an honor and privilege," and that even if she hasn't won, she is proud of what her campaign and supporters have accomplished along the way.
"Challenges abounded, but that is common with deeply meaningful pursuits," she wrote on her website. "We had numerous wins, like building the network of Democratic and Independent rural voters, which helped folks realize there are many here of like mind and heart."
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, Daniel Bonham was leading in the race for Senate District 26 with 56.8% of the vote to Mason's 43.09%.
Senate 26 includes the Columbia River Gorge communities of The Dalles and Hood River, the Mount Hood communities from Government Camp to Cherryville, Sandy and Estacada, as well as other rural Clackamas County communities.
Bonham has served as state representative for House District 59 since being appointed to the position in 2017. Bonham is a small business owner from The Dalles, and he was supported by current Sen. Chuck Thomsen in his run for Senate 26.
Mason ran for Congressional District 2 in 2018 and came in fifth, losing the seat to Jamie McCleod-Skinner, but her inspiration to serve in the Legislature was renewed after the redistricting for her area was announced.
Mason has worn many hats in her life, including as a former commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy's Chaplain Candidate Program. Currently, she works as a part-time, licensed security officer "to allow independent research on social and political issues." She also has experience in secondary education with a background in STEM, as a hospital chaplain who has worked with veterans and others under stress, as a long-haul truck driver, as a crisis counselor for those who've experienced domestic abuse and as a leader in addressing climate change.
Bonham had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication of this article.
"My interactions with Mr. Bonham on the campaign trail were cordial; I believe he understands that the role of senator is both a great privilege and obligation," Mason said. "I hope going forward that Sen. Bonham will make a point of attending community and political meetings on the center and left to better represent the interests of approximately 45% of his district. If you lead such an organization or meeting, invite him — and me. I want to stay engaged in supporting our communities as much as my everyday job and personal responsibilities allow."
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