SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Republican voters in Oregon’s vast 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday elected a former state senator to be their candidate to replace Rep. Greg Walden, who didn’t run for a 12th term in the conservative region covering the rural eastern and central part of the state.

Cliff Bentz bested former state legislators Jason Atkinson and Knute Buehler. Buehler also ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018 as the GOP nominee. Bentz will have the advantage in the November election in the predominantly Republican part of the state. His opponent is unclear with a victor not yet declared on the Democratic side.

ballots

KPTV file photo

The mail-in primary was complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, as election workers kept social distancing in county offices while staffing levels were down. Election workers received instructions on handling ballots along with protective equipment from the Oregon National Guard and others.

Former Vice President Joe Biden won Oregon’s Democratic presidential primary, outpacing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who both suspended their campaigns earlier in the year.

President Donald Trump, who was unopposed, won the Oregon GOP presidential contest.

MORE: Oregon election results 

In the Republican Senate primary, Jo Rae Perkins won. Perkins will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Two Democratic state senators were virtually tied in their bid to be their party’s candidate for secretary of state, the second-highest state office in Oregon. Sens. Shemia Fagan and Mark Hass were ahead of Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who ran unsuccessfully against Walden in 2018 as the Democratic candidate.

State Sen. Kim Thatcher appeared headed to an easy win to be the GOP candidate for secretary of state.

One local race is garnering national attention. Voters in metropolitan Portland appeared to be approving taxes on personal income and business profits that would raise $2.5 billion over a decade to fight homelessness.

The ballot measure was planned before the pandemic reduced the U.S. economy to tatters. How voters in the liberal city react amid the pandemic will be instructive for other West Coast cities struggling to address burgeoning homeless populations as other sources of revenue dry up.

MORE: Oregon election results 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Recommended for you

(4) comments

commentor

'Voters in metropolitan Portland appeared to be approving taxes on personal income and business profits that would raise $2.5 billion over a decade to fight homelessness.' Idiots. All they did by doing this is to put in a brighter light bulb to make Portland even more attractive to the homeless. Solves nothing, creates even more problems.

Delta Bravo

Voters thinking they were helping the homeless is the scam. What voters are really doing is creating a new layer of bureaucrats that will be compensated by the ballot measure. Very little will get to the homeless. In Seattle, it was calculated that total resources dedicated to the homeless was $33k per homeless person. Believe me, that is not what got to each homeless person. There is now a newly entrenched layer of government. If the homeless problem goes away, so do their jobs. So what do you think happens to the homeless? What improvement will we see? Will the old jail be utilized?

Yossarian

Throw more money at the homeless, oops I mean housing deprived, oops I mean the useless thieves that scour the neighborhoods looking to steal anything not chained down. The ones leaving used needles in the bushes and with their own waste. The ones camping along the corridor with vacancy signs for eyes.Yeah lets throw more money at this issue thereby inviting more members of that fine community. Disgusting vote Portland.

PDX2MtHood

Of course the dummies in PDX voted yes to giving a bunch of drug addicts and vagrants more free stuff. They will also give millions of more dollars to continue to expand government (office of homeless or whatever its called) so they can have more catered lunches and have meaningless meetings about how they are doing nothing to solve all problems the homeless are causing. Expect more property crime, graffiti, trash etc Portlandia. Other places are going to continue to send their vagrants to Portland because of this. Portland has truly let the vagrant criminals and gangs take over the city.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.