With only a small fraction of votes remaining to be counted, it appears that Democrat Janelle Bynum has won the closest race for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives.

Bynum faced Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in House District 21, which includes Happy Valley and Clackamas.

Bynum, who owns two McDonald's franchises in Portland leads Happy Valley mayor Chavez-DeRemer 50 percent to 48 percent.

Bynum's margin of 502 votes should hold up because there have already been 25,188 votes counted in the race. Based on previous turnout in the district and expected turnout for yesterday, there are relatively few ballots uncounted.

If Bynum holds on to win, that would mean Democrats preserve their 35 seat to 25 seat majority over Republicans.

Meanwhile, two Senate races downstate remain very close. In Senate District 3, (Ashland), Republican Alan DeBoer leads Democrat Tania Moro by 535 votes, which looks like enough for a victory, based on expected turnout. Incumbent Sen. Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) leads Republican Dick Anderson by 237 votes.

Currently, Democrats hold an 18 seat to 12 seat advantage over Republicans in the Senate.

With the failure of $3 billion-a-year corporate tax increase Measure 97 last night, lawmakers will be seeking ways to address a $1.4 billion deficit when they convene in early 2017. That makes the balance in each chamber particularly important because one solution to the deficit is tax increases, which require a three-fifths vote in both chambers.