November 6th, 2012 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: PDX Votes, Politics, Legislature

Democrats Capture Majority in Oregon House

GOP Surrenders Key Metro-Area Seats

     
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lm_kotek01Rep. Tina Kotek - IMAGE: Leslie Montgomery
The historic 30-30 split of the Oregon House is no more.

Rep. Tina Kotek (D-North Portland), who is likely to be the new speaker of the House, took the stage at about 9:30 pm amid raucous cheering.

"I'm one of those people who wants to see the numbers before they call the game," Kotek said. "But things look pretty good."

Based on current numbers, it appears Democrats will retake a large majority in the lower chamber, thanks to victories over GOP incumbents in the metro area.

Republicans appear likely to lose at least two hotly contested metro-area seats they won in 2010—incumbent Reps. Matt Wand (R-Troutdale) and Katie Eyre (R-Hillsboro) are on track to surrender their seats to Mt. Hood Community College professor Chris Gorsek and political consultant Ben Unger, respectively.

Rep. Shawn Lindsay (R-Hillsboro) is trailing Democrat Joe Gallegos, and Rep. Pat Sheehan (R-Clackamas) appears to have lost to Democrat Shemia Fagan.

"The Oregonian just called my race!" Fagan called out in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel as the crowd streamed out from basement conference rooms below. "Hey, [Chris] Gorsek!" Fagan yelled across the lobby. "They called your race, too!"

Among the metro-area showdowns, only one Republican, first-term Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn), was ahead, leading Metro Councilor Carl Hosticka.

The party that controls the House names the speaker, and instead of the responsibility being split between Democrats and Republicans, Kotek will have that power alone.

In the Senate, Democrats appear likely to hold their 16-14 edge. In the key metro-area race, Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham) cruised to victory over Republican Dr. Scott Hansen.



 
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