Multnomah County district attorney candidate Ethan Knight, an assistant U.S. attorney, received a combined $45,000 from the Multnomah County District Attorneys Association and the Portland Police Association, and another $8,500 from current District Attorney Rod Underhill's PAC. But Knight was crushed: Reform candidate Mike Schmidt won nearly three-quarters of votes. And in Wasco County, incumbent District Attorney Eric Nisley lost to Matthew Ellis, a criminal defense lawyer.
Trial lawyers got creamed, too. The Oregon Trial Lawyers Association gave member Christina Stephenson a $29,000 contribution—more than it gave any other candidate—in the Democratic race for House District 33. Dr. Maxine Dexter won 39.6 percent of the vote; Stephenson got 28.4 percent.
The association also gave $5,000 to Laurie Wimmer in the District 36 Democratic primary and $1,500 to the No Fake Democrats Committee. That PAC attacked District 36 candidate Dr. Lisa Reynolds with ads—running on streaming platform Hulu, among other places—for being a contributor to Republican congressional candidate Knute Buehler, husband of Reynolds' childhood best friend. Reynolds won anyway.
Dexter's and Reynolds' victories over the trial lawyer-supported candidates are significant because doctors and lawyers often battle ferociously over medical liability in the Legislature—and that will be a hot-button issue amid COVID-19 deaths. TESS RISKI.