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Prosecutor Kevin Barton Wins Washington County District Attorney Seat Despite His Opponent Spending Nearly Twice As Much

Together, the candidates spent almost $1 million on a race for a position that is rarely contested in Oregon.

Despite being drastically outspent, deputy prosecutor Kevin Barton won the Washington County district attorney seat Tuesday by a landslide, with nearly 67 percent of the vote by Wednesday morning.

That count isn't final, but with a little over 1,300 ballots left to be counted, Barton's opponent Max Wall can't make up the difference even if he won every remaining vote.

The race for district attorney was notable both because candidates vying for the county's top prosecutor position rarely face opposition and because together the candidates spent nearly $1 million on the contest.

Wall, a defense attorney who ran on a criminal justice reform platform, spent nearly $620,000 on the election—more than $22 for each of the approximately 27,000 votes he received. By contrast, Barton, a chief deputy in the office under the previous district attorney, spent a little more than $346,000 for nearly 60,000 votes, or about $5 for each ballot cast in his favor.

Nearly one third of Barton's money came from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who gave $100,000 to the prosecutor's campaign. Another $155,258 came from a PAC supported by ESCO Corp. founder Henry Swigert.

Wall accepted $557,529 from the Oregon Law and Justice PAC, which is backed by a Washington, D.C. PAC associated with New York investor George Soros, who has been funding reform candidates in district attorneys races across the country.