Oregon State Senate elections, 2014

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

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

Incumbents retiring

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

Majority control

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

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

Oregon State Senate
Party As of September 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 16 Pending
     Republican Party 14 Pending
Total 30 30

Competitiveness

Candidates unopposed by a major party

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

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 9 (60%) of the 15 districts up for election. A total of 14 seats in the Senate were up for election in 2012. None of those seats held competitive elections in 2012 with a margin of victory ranging from zero to five percent. Two other elections were mildly competitive, with a margin of victory of five to ten 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.[1] Elections in the Senate are staggered, meaning none of the seats with elections in 2012 are up for election in 2014.

Primary challenges

No incumbent state senators faced primary competition on May 20. There is 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) is the only incumbent not seeking re-election, while 14 (93.3%) of the 15 current incumbents are running for re-election.

Qualifications

Candidate ballot accecss
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Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

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 separates Republican and Democratic control of the State Senate, with the Democratic Party holding the chamber heading into November.

The Oregon State Senate has been identified by Louis Jacobson of Governing magazine as one of 17 chambers that is "vulnerable to a change in control in November". Jacobson rated the state senate contest in Oregon as "leans Democratic" as of late June.[2]

Both parties have offered an analysis of how it can maneuver itself into a Senate majority. For the Oregon Democratic Party, Democratic-friendly issues could potentially boost turnout among registered Democrats. According to Tom Powers, the executive director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund, which is 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."[3] 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, could potentially boost Democratic turnout in the general election.[3]

On the Republican side, the Oregon Republican Party has 11 Senate candidates running in 16 districts.[4] Dan Lavey, president of Gallatin Public Affairs and a Republican strategist, says "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 will need to bring together "a rural/suburban coalition," including "a moderate business coalition combined with a populist conservative coalition."[5]

The Bulletin, an Oregon-based newspaper, notes that the Democratic and Republican parties are focused on close races as well as the influence that independent voters can wield in those key races.[6] Several of the key races identified by The Bulletin are receiving extra attention from the state parties. For the Democrats, this includes 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."[6] According to Powers, other vulnerable incumbent Republicans include senators from District 15, District 20, and District 26. Oregon Democrats hope that the number of vulnerable Republican incumbents exceeds that of vulnerable Democrats, placing their party in a stronger position to maintain control of the State Senate.

For state Republicans, the party is focusing on taking out State Sen. Peter Courtney, also the chamber's president.[6] The Republicans also hope that increased turnout in a non-presidential election year will 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 include independent voters, many of which who have not yet registered with either the Republican or Democratic parties.[6] According to Michael Gay, an state senate Republican Party spokesperson, such voters could help shift certain electoral districts toward Republicans.

Races to watch

  • District 3: Incumbent Alan Bates (D) won the Senate seat in District 3 by only 282 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 will against face Bates in a closely-watched race that could tip the control of the State Senate into Republican hands. As of 2013, the Democrats have a registration edge of roughly 5 points over that of Republicans, although that is a point less than Democratic registration in 2010.[7]

List of candidates

Note: Candidate lists can change frequently throughout the election season. Ballotpedia staff will be re-examining the list on a monthly basis for any changes. This list was last examined on September 16, 2014. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you are aware of a candidate we've missed or one incorrectly listed, please send an email to: Tyler King.

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:

Democratic Party Alan Bates
Republican Party Dave Dotterrer
Green Party Art H. Krueger

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
Republican Party Cheryl Mueller
Libertarian Party William Bollinger

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
Republican Party Michael P. Spasaro

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

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
Republican Party Betsy L. Close

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
Libertarian Party Glen E. Ewert

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
Republican Party Patricia Milne

District 13

Note: Incumbent Larry George (R) is not running for re-election.

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

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Ryan Howard
Republican Party Kim Thatcher

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
Republican Party Bruce Starr
Libertarian Party Caitlin Mitchel-Markley

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
Constitution Party Robert Ekstrom
Libertarian Party Perry Roll
IndependentWorking Families Party Andrew Kaza

District 17

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

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Republican Party John Verbeek

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

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
Republican Party Alan R. Olsen

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
Libertarian Party Michael Marvin

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

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
Republican Party Chuck Thomsen

See also

External links

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