Oregon state elections, 2012

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On November 6, 2012, the U.S. state of Oregon held statewide general elections for four statewide offices (secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and commissioner of labor), both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and several state ballot measures.

The primary elections were held on May 15, 2012. Both elections also included national races for President of the United States and five U.S. House Representatives. Numerous local jurisdictions — cities, counties, and regional government entities — held elections for various local offices and ballot measures on these days as well.

Federal[edit]

President of the United States[edit]

Democratic incumbent Barack Obama defeated his Republican opponent Mitt Romney in the national presidential election. In Oregon, the voters also chose Obama, giving him all of Oregon's 7 electoral votes.[1]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

All five of Oregon's seats in the United States House of Representatives were up for re-election in 2012. All five incumbents ran for and won re-election, including Democrat Suzanne Bonamici who won a special election in District 1 earlier in the year to replace Democrat David Wu.

Statewide[edit]

Attorney General[edit]

Incumbent Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, first elected in 2008, announced in October 2011 that he would not seek a second term, citing undisclosed medical issues.[2] In April 2012, he announced would resign his office in June to become president of Reed College.[2] On June 29, Democrat Ellen Rosenblum was sworn in as interim Attorney General.[3][4] Rosenblum, a former judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals, also defeated former U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton in the Democratic primary and will compete for a full term in November against Republican attorney James Buchal, who had a successful write-in campaign in the Republican primary.[5]

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]
Results[edit]
Democratic Primary results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ellen Rosenblum 202,935 64.5%
Democratic Dwight Holton 110,891 35.3%
Democratic write-ins 657 0.2%
Totals 305,545 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

No Republican filed to run in the primary, but a few weeks before the primary election, party officials sent postcards to Republicans urging them to write in Portland lawyer James Buchal. Buchal qualified for the general election with more than half the more than 25,000 write-in votes cast.[5]

Results[edit]
Republican Primary results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Buchal (write-in candidate) 12,816 50.4%
Republican other write-ins 12,622 49.6%
Totals 25,438 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]
Polling[edit]
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Ellen
Rosenblum (D)
James
Buchal (R)
Undecided
Public Policy Polling June 21–24, 2012 686 ± 3.7% 46% 33% 20%
Results[edit]
Oregon Attorney General - General Election Results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ellen Rosenblum 917,627 56.17%
Republican James Buchal 639,363 39.14%
Constitution (Oregon) James E. Leuenberger 45,451 2.78%
Progressive Chris Henry 28,187 1.73%
write-ins 2,975 0.18%
Totals 1,633,603 100%

Secretary of State[edit]

Incumbent Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, first elected in 2008, is seeking a second term. She defeated perennial candidate Paul Damian Wells in the Democratic primary and faces Republican orthopedic surgeon Knute Buehler in the general election.[10] Buehler was unopposed in the Republican primary and also won the Independent Party nomination.[11]

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]
Results[edit]
Democratic Primary results[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kate Brown 284,470 91.1%
Democratic Paul Damian Wells 26,177 8.4%
Democratic write-ins 1,510 0.5%
Totals 312,157 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]
  • Knute Buehler, surgeon[12]
Results[edit]
Republican Primary results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Knute Buehler 199,179 97.76%
Republican write-ins 4,558 2.24%
Totals 203,737 100%

Independent Party of Oregon[edit]

Oregon allows candidates to be cross-nominated by up to three political parties. The Independent Party of Oregon holds a month-long online primary to select which candidate receives their nomination. The party chose candidates in a number of legislative and local races but only one statewide race, Secretary of State.[11]

Candidates[edit]
Results[edit]
Independent Party of Oregon primary results[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Knute Buehler 348 55.68%
Democratic Kate Brown 277 44.32%
Totals 625 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]
Polling[edit]
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Kate
Brown (D)
Knute
Buehler (R, I)
Undecided
The Oregonian October 25–28, 2012 405 ± 5% 38% 23% 36%
DHM Research October 18–20, 2012 500 ± 2.6%–4.4% 43% 37% 15%
Public Policy Polling June 21–24, 2012 686 ± 3.7% 48% 30% 21%
Results[edit]
Oregon Secretary of State - General Election Results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kate Brown 863,656 51.28%
Republican Knute Buehler 727,607 43.20%
Pacific Green Seth Woolley 44,235 2.63%
Libertarian Bruce Alexander Knight 24,273 1.44%
Progressive Robert Wolfe 21,783 1.29%
write-ins 2,561 0.15%
Totals 1,684,115 100%

State Treasurer[edit]

Incumbent Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler was appointed to the position in March 2010 following the death of Ben Westlund. Wheeler subsequently won a November 2010 special election to complete the remainder of Westlund's term. He is seeking re-election to a full term in 2012.[10] Tom Cox, a management consultant who ran for Governor as the Libertarian nominee in 2002, won the Republican nomination as a write-in candidate.[5][10]

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]
Results[edit]
Democratic Primary results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ted Wheeler 272,278 99.50%
Democratic write-ins 1,365 0.50%
Totals 273,643 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

No Republican filed to run in the primary, but a few weeks before the primary election, party officials sent postcards to Republicans urging them to write in Tom Cox, who won 5% of the vote as the Libertarian candidate for Governor in 2002. Cox won the majority of the more than 24,000 write-in votes to advance to the November general election.[5]

Republicans urging them to write in Portland lawyer James Buchal. Buchal qualified for the general election with more than half the more than 25,000 write-in votes cast.[5]

Results[edit]
Republican Primary results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Cox (write-in) 12,885 53.2%
Republican other write-ins 11,337 46.8%
Totals 24,222 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]
Polling[edit]
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Ted
Wheeler (D)
Tom
Cox (R)
Undecided
Public Policy Polling June 21–24, 2012 686 ± 3.7% 46% 34% 19%
Results[edit]
Oregon State Treasurer - General Election Results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ted Wheeler 917,627 55.84%
Republican Tom Cox 639,363 38.91%
Progressive Cameron Whitten 38,762 2.36%
Libertarian John Mahler 30,002 1.83%
Constitution (Oregon) Michael Paul Marsh 15,415 0.94%
write-ins 2,181 0.13%
Totals 1,643,350 100%

Labor Commissioner[edit]

The Oregon Commissioner of Labor serves as the head of the state Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), and is a nonpartisan position. Brad Avakian, a Democrat who has served as Commissioner since 2008, is running for re-election.[19] Republican state Senator Bruce Starr is challenging Avakian.[19]

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]
Polling[edit]
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Brad
Avakian (D)
Bruce
Starr (R)
Undecided
The Oregonian October 25–28, 2012 405 ± 5% 26% 20% 53%
DHM Research October 18–20, 2012 500 ± 2.6%–4.4% 22% 19% 60%
Public Policy Polling June 21–24, 2012 686 ± 3.7% 21% 23% 56%
Results[edit]
Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries - General Election Results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brad Avakian 681,987 52.53%
Republican Bruce Starr 606,735 46.73%
write-ins 9,616 0.74%
Totals 1,298,338 100%

Legislative[edit]

The Democrats had a 16–14 majority in the Oregon State Senate in the previous session. 16 of the 30 senate seats were up for election. In the Oregon House of Representatives, which was evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, all 60 seats were up for election. Democrats retained their 16–14 majority in the Senate, and took a 34–26 majority in the House.[21]

Ballot measures[edit]

Nine measures appeared on the November ballot. Two were legislative referrals, four were initiated constitutional amendments, and three were initiated state statutes.[22]

Measure 77[edit]

Referred by the legislature. Amends Constitution: Governor may declare "catastrophic disaster;" requires legislative session; authorizes suspending specified constitutional spending restrictions.

Measure 77
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 957,646 58.71%
No 673,468 41.29%
Total votes 1,631,114 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 78[edit]

Referred by the legislature. Amends Constitution: Changes constitutional language describing governmental system of separation of powers; makes grammatical and spelling changes.

Measure 78
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 1,165,963 71.77%
No 458,509 28.23%
Total votes 1,624,472 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 79[edit]

Initiated constitutional amendment. Amends Constitution: Prohibits real estate transfer taxes, fees, other assessments, except those operative on December 31, 2009.

Measure 79
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 976,587 58.96%
No 679,710 41.04%
Total votes 1,656,297 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 80[edit]

Initiated statute. Allows personal marijuana, hemp cultivation/use without license; commission to regulate commercial marijuana cultivation/sale.

Measure 80
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 923,071 53.25%
Yes 810,538 46.75%
Total votes 1,733,609 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 81[edit]

Initiated statute. Prohibits commercial non-tribal fishing with gillnets in Oregon "inland waters," allows use of seine nets.

Measure 82
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 1,072,614 65.38%
Yes 567,996 34.62%
Total votes 1,640,610 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 82[edit]

Initiated constitutional amendment. Amends Constitution: authorizes establishment of privately owned casinos; mandates percentage of revenues payable to dedicated state fund.

Measure 82
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 1,226,331 71.65%
Yes 485,240 28.35%
Total votes 1,711,571 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 83[edit]

Initiated statute. Authorizes privately owned Wood Village Casino at the closed Multnomah Greyhound Park; mandates percentage of revenues payable to dedicated state fund.

Measure 83
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 1,207,508 70.71%
Yes 500,123 29.29%
Total votes 1,707,631 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 84[edit]

Initiated statute. Phases out existing inheritance taxes on large estates, and all taxes on intra-family property transfers.

Measure 84
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 912,541 54.04%
Yes 776,143 45.96%
Total votes 1,688,684 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

Measure 85[edit]

Initiated constitutional amendment. Amends Constitution: allocates corporate income/excise tax "kicker" refund to additionally fund K–12 public education.

Measure 85
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 1,007,122 59.96%
No 672,586 40.04%
Total votes 1,679,708 100.00%
Source: Oregon State Elections Division[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hales wins mayor race; Obama wins presidency". OregonLive (The Oregonian). November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Har, Jamie (October 18, 2011). "John Kroger cites 'significant but not life threatening medical condition' for opting out of 2012 AG race". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ Cole, Michelle (June 6, 2012). "Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber names Ellen Rosenblum as interim attorney general". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  4. ^ Har, Janie (June 29, 2012). "AG handoff, timber payments, OLCC and tsunami debris is coming: Oregon Politics Roundup". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Mapes, Jeff (June 6, 2012). "Oregon Republicans now have candidates for attorney general and treasurer, courtesy of write-in votes". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Candidate Filings, Attorney General". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "May 15, 2012 Primary Election: Attorney General Official Election Results". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Candidate Filings, Attorney General". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "November 6, 2012, General Election Abstract of Votes". Oregon Elections Division. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Mapes, Jeff (May 15, 2012). "Kate Brown, Knute Buehler to face off in November for Oregon secretary of state (2012 primary election)". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Mapes, Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian (July 18, 2012). "Knute Buehler wins Independent Party nod, as do several Oregon House Democratic candidates". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c "Candidate Filings, Secretary of State". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "May 15, 2012 Primary Election: Secretary of State Official Election Results". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Primary election results". Independent Party of Oregon. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Candidate Filings, Secretary of State". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Candidate Filings, State Treasurer". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "May 15, 2012 Primary Election: State Treasurer Official Election Results". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "Candidate Filings, State Treasurer". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Mapes, Jeff (February 2, 2012). "After bruising congressional loss, Brad Avakian kicks off re-election race for labor commissioner". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Candidate Filings, State Treasurer". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  21. ^ "2012 Election Results: Oregon Legislature". OregonLive.com. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  22. ^ Elections Division (2010-08-02). "2012 Measure Assignment". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]