Richardson concedes races, Kitzhaber wins historic fourth term - KPTV - FOX 12

Richardson concedes races, Kitzhaber wins historic fourth term

Updated:
Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes
In his victory speech, Kitzhaber said he's aware that Oregonians stuck with him"under some difficult circumstances." In his victory speech, Kitzhaber said he's aware that Oregonians stuck with him"under some difficult circumstances."
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Oregon voters are giving Gov. John Kitzhaber an historic fourth term.

Fox 12 political analyst Tim Hibbitts called the race for Kitzhaber over Republican challenger Rep. Dennis Richardson shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday. However, Richardson took the stage in front of his supporters at around 9 p.m., and again at 10 p.m., and refused to concede.

Richardson finally conceded Wednesday morning by calling Kitzhaber and wishing him well.

Although Kitzhaber won the race, the results were not a "strong mandate" in his favor from voters, according to Hibbitts.

In his victory speech, Kitzhaber said he's aware that Oregonians stuck with him"under some difficult circumstances."

"I don't take that for granted and I will not let you down," he said.

Kitzhaber was considered an overwhelming favorite before stories surfaced last month regarding his fiancee's illegal marriage in 1997 and a potential conflict of interest between her role as first lady and her consulting business.

Cylvia Hayes held a press conference on Oct. 9 to admit she married an Ethiopian immigrant because she needed money and he needed help to stay in the U.S.

The Willamette Week initially reported the marriage while investigating Hayes working as a private consultant and also serving as a public official.

Richardson sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall asking her to examine the extent of Hayes' influence in Salem and how she may have profited from it.

Richardson said he would have called for an independent investigation if he had been in Kitzhaber's position and claimed the governor was "protecting his fiancee at the expense of his position representing 3.8 million Oregonians."

Richardson said last month he would continue to pursue the issue even after the election.

The governor's office issued a statement in reply to Richardson's request stating it was a waste of time and money and "an obvious political stunt."

Hibbitts said before the election that Kitzhaber was "well-positioned to be cushioned" against negative stories in his race against Richardson, due to a big lead in the polls.

However, Hibbitts said the ethics investigations will likely drag on and could cost Kitzhaber political capital during his new term.

Kitzhaber has served as governor since 2011, following his previous run from 1995 to 2003.

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