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Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Review Articles: Oregon State Executive Officials

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December 10, 2012

By Maresa Strano

Portal:State Executive Officials

SALEM, Oregon: Four state executive positions were up for election this year in the state of Oregon. Only three incumbents ran in the primary, but four incumbents appeared on the general election ballot. All four incumbents won election on November 6, 2012.

  • At the start of the 2012 election season, the incumbent attorney general was John Kroger (D). Kroger gave ample notice that he would not run for re-election in 2012, but less so when a new job opportunity compelled him to leave office several months before voters had a chance to officially select his successor. Kroger resigned in the spring and Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed recent Democratic attorney general primary victor Ellen Rosenblum to fill the vacancy. For this reason, Rosenblum entered the general election phase as the incumbent.

Here are the candidates who won election.[1]

Office Incumbent General Election Candidates 2015 Winner Partisan Switch?
Secretary of State Kate Brown
Kate Brown.jpg
Democratic Party Kate Brown
Republican Party Knute Buehler
Libertarian Party Bruce Alexander Knight
Green Party Seth Woolley
Progressive Party Robert Wolfe
Kate Brown No
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
Ellen Rosenblum.jpg
Democratic Party Ellen Rosenblum
Republican Party James Buchal
Progressive Party Chris Henry
Libertarian Party James Leuenberger
Ellen Rosenblum No
Treasurer Ted Wheeler
Ted Wheeler.jpg
Democratic PartyTed Wheeler
Republican Party Tom Cox
Progressive Party Cameron Whitten
Libertarian Party John Mahler
Constitution Party Michael Paul Marsh
Ted Wheeler No
Commissioner of Labor and Industries Brad Avakian
Brad Avakian.jpg
Brad Avakian
Bruce Starr
Brad Avakian N/A

Official Results

See also: Oregon secretary of state election, 2012
Oregon Secretary of State General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKate Brown Incumbent 51.4% 863,656
     Republican Knute Buehler 43.3% 727,607
     Green Seth Woolley 2.6% 44,235
     Libertarian Bruce Alexander Knight 1.4% 24,273
     Progressive Robert Wolfe 1.3% 21,783
Total Votes 1,681,554
Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.
See also: Oregon attorney general election, 2012
Attorney General of Oregon General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngEllen Rosenblum Incumbent 56.3% 917,627
     Republican James Buchal 39.2% 639,363
     Libertarian James Leuenberger 2.8% 45,451
     Progressive Chris Henry 1.7% 28,187
Total Votes 1,630,628
Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.
See also: Oregon down ballot state executive elections, 2012
Oregon Treasurer General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTed Wheeler Incumbent 57.9% 955,213
     Republican Tom Cox 37% 609,989
     Progressive Cameron Whitten 2.4% 38,762
     Libertarian John Mahler 1.8% 30,002
     Constitution Michael Paul Marsh 0.9% 15,415
Total Votes 1,649,381
Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.
See also: Oregon down ballot state executive elections, 2012
Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBrad Avakian* (D) Incumbent 52.5% 681,987
     Nonpartisan Bruce Starr* (R) 46.7% 606,735
     Nonpartisan Write-in 0.7% 9,616
Total Votes 1,298,338
Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.

National picture

States with 2012 executive elections

There were 94 total seats up for election across 22 states this year, including 11 Governors, 9 Lt. Governors, 10 Attorneys General, 7 Secretaries of State and 57 down ballot seats.

  • Before the election, 51 of these offices were held by Democrats, 38 were held by Republicans, and the remaining 4 positions were held by non partisan or Independent officers . After the election, Democrats hold 49 (net loss of 2 seats), Republicans 42 (net gain of 4 seats), and Independents/non partisans only 1 (loss of 3).
  • Of the 69 incumbents who ran for election in 2012, 7 were defeated-6 Democrat and 1 Republican. Democratic Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau narrowly escaped that fate, having had to wait for her challenger to cancel a self-financed recount on December 11, 2012 before being named the official winner.[2]
  • Out of 25 total open seats, 13 were won by Democrats, 11 went to Republican, and 1 went to an Independent (nonpartisan) candidate. In all, there are 34 new state executives as a result of the election.
  • From the gubernatorial perspective, after the November 2012 election, there are 30 Republican and 19 Democratic governors.[3] If the GOP had taken five governor seats from Democrats on November 6, that would have given the party 34 -- the most for Republicans since 1922. As of December 2012, the number of Democratic governors in the country is at its lowest since 2001.
2012 State Executive Election Partisan Breakdown
Party Before 2012 Election After 2012 Election Net Change
Democratic 51 50 -1
Republican 38 43 +5
Independent (Nonpartisan) 4 1 -3
TOTALS 931 vacant 94
2012 State Executive Election Analysis
Party Open Seat Winners Defeated Incumbents New State Executives
Democratic 13 6 15
Republican 11 1 18
Independent (Nonpartisan) 1 0 1
TOTALS 25 7 34

See also



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