Oregon State Senate elections, 2014

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

2012
2014 badge.jpg
Oregon State Senate elections, 2014

Majority controlQualifications
CompetitivenessFight for majority control
List of candidates
District 3District 4District 6District 7District 8District 10District 11District 13District 15District 16District 17District 19District 20District 24District 26
State Legislative Election Results

Oregon State Senate2014 Oregon House Elections
BattlegroundRace.jpg

The Republican Party aimed to take control of several state senates and Oregon was one of them. Oregon had been a Democratic state government trifecta, meaning the party had controlled both houses and the governorship. The state leans Democratic and in 2012 there were no races with a margin of victory smaller than 5 percent. None of those seats, however, were up for election this time.[1]

Republicans hoped 2014's turnout would improve upon the turnout in the 2010 midterms. While the national party had success in electing conservatives to office that year, the Democrats retained the Senate in Oregon.[2]

Meanwhile, Democrats hoped that there were more vulnerable Republican seats than Democratic in 2014.

The Oregon State Senate was one of 20 state legislative chambers noted by Ballotpedia staff as being a battleground chamber. It had a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republicans of two seats, which amounted to 13.3 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, when 14 districts were up for election, two districts were mildly competitive, with a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.

Louis Jacobson of Governing magazine identified the Oregon Senate as one of 17 chambers nationally that was "vulnerable to a change in control in November."[1]

The Bulletin, an Oregon-based newspaper, wrote that both major parties focused on close races and particularly in attracting independent voters in those races. Key races identified in The Bulletin included District 15, District 20, District 26, and a rematch of District 3, which was close enough to call for a recount and resulted in a Democratic victory.[2]

In addition, Republicans wanted to oust President of the Senate Peter Courtney in District 11.[2] They failed to do that when Courtney defeated his Republican opponent, Patricia Milne, by about 9 percentage points.

Elections for the office of Oregon State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 20, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 11, 2014.

Following the general election, the Democratic Party retained control of the Oregon State Senate. The party, which had 16 seats before the election, increased its total to 18. The Republican Party had 14 seats before the election and that number was reduced to 12.

Incumbents retiring

Only one incumbent, Larry George (R), did not run for re-election in 2014.

Majority control

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Heading into the November 4 election, the Democratic Party held the majority in the Oregon State Senate:

Oregon State Senate
Party As of November 3, 2014 After November 4, 2014
     Democratic Party 16 18
     Republican Party 14 12
Total 30 30
2014 Competitiveness Overview
Competitiveness2014.jpg
Primary competition (state comparison)
Incumbents defeatedVictorious challengers
Primary competitiveness
Major party challengers (state comparison)
Candidates with no challenges at all in 2014
Open seats (state comparisons)
Impact of term limits on # of open seats
Long-serving senatorsLong-serving reps
Star bookmark.png   Chart Comparing 2014 Results   Star bookmark.png
Chart Comparing 2014 ResultsComparisons Between Years
Competitiveness IndexAbsolute Index
2014 State Legislative Elections
State legislative incumbent turnover in 2014
Competitiveness Studies from Other Years
200720092010201120122013

Competitiveness

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 6 (40%) of the 15 districts up for election in 2014, there was only one major party candidate running for election. Five Democrats and one Republican were guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates faced off in the general election in 9 (60%) of the 15 districts up for election. Fourteen Senate seats were up for election in 2012. None of those seats held competitive elections in 2012, meaning a margin of victory ranging from 0 to 5 percent. Two elections were mildly competitive, with a margin of victory of 5 to 10 percent. Those districts were District 5 and District 25. Those two mildly competitive districts saw almost $3 million in campaign contributions raised by general election candidates.[3] Elections in the Senate were staggered, meaning none of the seats with elections in 2012 were up for election in 2014.

Primary challenges

No incumbent state senators faced primary competition on May 20. There was one incumbent not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 14 incumbents advanced past the primary without opposition.

Retiring incumbents

In District 13, Larry George (R) was the only incumbent not seeking re-election, while 14 (93.3%) of the 15 current incumbents ran for re-election.

Qualifications

Article 4, Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution states:

  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative who at the time of election is not a citizen of the United States; nor anyone who has not been for one year next preceding the election an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen. However, for purposes of the general election next following the operative date of an apportionment under section 6 of this Article, the person must have been an inhabitant of the district from January 1 of the year following the reapportionment to the date of the election.
  • Senators and Representatives shall be at least twenty one years of age.
  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative who has been convicted of a felony during:
    • The term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative; or
    • The period beginning on the date of the election at which the person was elected to the office of Senator or Representative and ending on the first day of the term of office to which the person was elected.
  • No person is eligible to be elected as a Senator or Representative if that person has been convicted of a felony and has not completed the sentence received for the conviction prior to the date that person would take office if elected. As used in this subsection, “sentence received for the conviction” includes a term of imprisonment, any period of probation or post-prison supervision and payment of a monetary obligation imposed as all or part of a sentence.
  • Notwithstanding sections 11 and 15, Article IV of this Constitution:
    • The office of a Senator or Representative convicted of a felony during the term to which the Senator or Representative was elected or appointed shall become vacant on the date the Senator or Representative is convicted.
    • A person elected to the office of Senator or Representative and convicted of a felony during the period beginning on the date of the election and ending on the first day of the term of office to which the person was elected shall be ineligible to take office and the office shall become vacant on the first day of the next term of office.
  • Subject to subsection (4) of this section, a person who is ineligible to be a Senator or Representative under subsection (3) of this section may:
    • Be a Senator or Representative after the expiration of the term of office during which the person is ineligible; and
    • Be a candidate for the office of Senator or Representative prior to the expiration of the term of office during which the person is ineligible.
  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative who at all times during the term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative is not an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen or has been appointed to represent. A person shall not lose status as an inhabitant of a district if the person is absent from the district for purposes of business of the Legislative Assembly. Following the operative date of an apportionment under section 6 of this Article, until the expiration of the term of office of the person, a person may be an inhabitant of any district.

Context

A two-seat gap separated Republican and Democratic control of the State Senate, with the Democratic Party holding the chamber heading into November.

The Oregon State Senate was identified by Louis Jacobson of Governing magazine as one of 17 chambers that was "vulnerable to a change in control in November." Jacobson rated the state senate contest in Oregon as "leans Democratic."[1]

Both parties offered an analyis of how they could maneuver themselves into a Senate majority. For the Oregon Democratic Party, Democratic-friendly issues were expected to boost turnout among registered Democrats. According to Tom Powers, the executive director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund, which was the leading funding operation of the Oregon Democratic Party, "Voters in Southern Oregon and the Mid-Valley delivered a strong message yesterday about their excitement to elect Democratic candidates for the Senate."[4] Powers highlighted the larger voter turnout in support of traditionally Democratic positions such as the prohibition on genetically-modified crops, particularly in Southern Oregon's Jackson County. A statewide initiative, Measure 92, which would require that genetically-modified food receive a label, also played a role in voter turnout.[4]

On the Republican side, the Oregon Republican Party had 11 Senate candidates running in 16 districts.[5] Dan Lavey, president of Gallatin Public Affairs and a Republican strategist, said "In terms of control of the Legislature, the Republican party and the candidates closest to the center of the electorate will be successful." Lavey suggested that in order to take majority control in the state senate, the Republican Party in Oregon needed to bring together "a rural/suburban coalition," including "a moderate business coalition combined with a populist conservative coalition."[6]

The Bulletin, an Oregon-based newspaper, noted that the Democratic and Republican parties were focused on close races as well as the influence that independent voters can wield in those key races.[2] Several of the key races identified by The Bulletin received extra attention from the state parties. For the Democrats, this included District 3, a district which Tom Powers, the executive director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund, called "our top contentious seat to hold a majority."[2] According to Powers, other vulnerable incumbent Republicans included senators from District 15, District 20 and District 26. Oregon Democrats hoped that the number of vulnerable Republican incumbents exceeded that of vulnerable Democrats, placing their party in a stronger position to maintain control of the state senate.

For state Republicans, the party focused on taking out State Sen. Peter Courtney, also the chamber's president.[2] The Republicans also hoped that increasing turnout in a non-presidential election year would mimic the turnout of the 2010 midterm election, during which Republican and conservative candidates around the country managed to capture numerous state legislative chambers as well as governorships. During that election, the Oregon Republican Party managed to tie the Democratic Party in the Oregon House of Representatives. Another focus of the state's Republicans included independent voters, many of which who had not registered with either the Republican or Democratic parties.[2] According to Michael Gay, an state senate Republican Party spokesperson, such voters could have helped shift certain electoral districts toward Republicans.

Races to watch

  • District 3: Incumbent Alan Bates (D) won the Senate seat in District 3 by only 275 votes in 2010 in a recount against Dave Dotterrer (R). That victory by Bates helped the Democratic Party achieve a slim majority (16-14) in the State Senate (the chamber would have been evenly divided had Dotterrer defeated Bates). In 2014, Dotterrer faced Bates in a closely-watched race that could have tipped the control of the State Senate into Republican hands. As of 2013, the Democrats had a registration edge of roughly 5 points over that of Republicans, although that was a point less than Democratic registration in 2010.[7] Recent campaign finance reports showed that Bates raised just over $430,000, while Dotterrer has raised $606,000.[8]
  • District 8: Incumbent Betsy Close (R) was defeated by Rep. Sara Gelser (D-16) in the general election. Close, from conservative Albany, was appointed to the chamber to replace Frank Morse (R), a more moderate Republican who retired. Gelser has served in the House for four terms, representing the liberal college town of Corvallis.[9] In this election cycle, Gelser had raised $630,000, compared to $408,000 for Close. Gelser received more than $160,000 from the Senate Democratic campaign fund as well as donations from several union organizations.[8]
  • District 15: Former state representative Chuck Riley (D) defeated incumbent Bruce Starr (R) and Caitlin Mitchel-Markley (L) in the general election. In 2010, Starr defeated Riley by less than 2,000 votes. Campaign finance reports released before the general election showed that Starr had received over $550,000 and Riley had raised over $400,000 in donations.[8]

List of candidates

District 3

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Alan Bates: 14,155 Approveda- Incumbent Bates was first elected to the chamber in 2004.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Candidate ballot accecss
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Democratic Party Alan Bates: 27,678 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Dave Dotterrer: 23,700
Green Party Art H. Krueger: 1,917

District 4

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Floyd Prozanski: 10,414 Approveda- Incumbent Prozanski was first appointed to the chamber in 2003.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Floyd Prozanski: 30,601 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Cheryl Mueller: 20,119
Libertarian Party William Bollinger: 2,010

District 6

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Lee Beyer: 6,624 Approveda- Incumbent Beyer was first elected to the chamber in 2010.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Lee Beyer: 26,080 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Michael P. Spasaro: 17,999

District 7

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Chris Edwards: 7,914 Approveda- Incumbent Edwards was first appointed to the chamber in 2009.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:
  • Gary Williams (write-in): 66

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Chris Edwards: 30,550 Green check mark transparent.png

District 8

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:
  • Betsy L. Close: 6,337 Approveda- Incumbent Close was first appointed to the chamber in 2012.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Sara A. Gelser: 27,826 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Betsy L. Close: 21,922

District 10

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:
  • Jackie Winters: 8,296 Approveda- Incumbent Winters was first elected to the chamber in 2002.

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party Jackie Winters: 38,129 Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Glen E. Ewert: 5,315

District 11

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Peter Courtney: 4,769 Approveda- Incumbent Courtney was first elected to the chamber in 1998.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Peter Courtney: 16,179 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Patricia Milne: 13,442

District 13

Note: Incumbent Larry George (R) did not run for re-election.

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Ryan Howard: 19,434
Republican Party Kim Thatcher: 27,638 Green check mark transparent.png

District 15

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:
  • Bruce Starr: 5,173 Approveda- Incumbent Starr was first elected to the chamber in 2002.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Chuck Riley: 18,156 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Bruce Starr: 17,869
Libertarian Party Caitlin Mitchel-Markley: 3,593

District 16

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Betsy Johnson: 9,965 Approveda- Incumbent Johnson was first appointed to the chamber in 2005.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Betsy Johnson: 34,324 Green check mark transparent.png
Constitution Party Robert Ekstrom: 5,985
Libertarian Party Perry Roll: 1,901
IndependentWorking Families Party Andrew Kaza: 6,603

District 17

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Elizabeth Steiner Hayward: 30,677 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party John Verbeek: 15,697

District 19

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Richard Devlin: 10,183 Approveda- Incumbent Devlin was first elected to the chamber in 2002.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Richard Devlin: 39,529 Green check mark transparent.png

District 20

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:
  • Alan R. Olsen: 7,106 Approveda- Incumbent Olsen was first elected to the chamber in 2010.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jamie Damon: 23,930
Republican Party Alan R. Olsen: 26,705 Green check mark transparent.png

District 23

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Michael Dembrow: 11,189 Approveda- Incumbent Dembrow was first appointed to the chamber in 2013.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Michael Dembrow: 40,948 Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Michael Marvin: 6,097

District 24

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
  • Rod Monroe: 4,950 Approveda- Incumbent Monroe was first elected to the chamber in 2006.
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Rod Monroe: 22,491 Green check mark transparent.png

District 26

Democratic Party May 20 Democratic primary:
Republican Party May 20 Republican primary:
  • Chuck Thomsen: 5,267 Approveda- Incumbent Thomsen was first elected to the chamber in 2010.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Robert R. Bruce: 18,641
Republican Party Chuck Thomsen: 24,422 Green check mark transparent.png

See also

External links

BP-Initials-UPDATED.png
Suggest a link

References