Tuesday, November 13, 2012
POLK COUNTY -- Except for those races involving vacancies, incumbents for state and federal office representing Polk County were victorious on Nov. 6.
Congressman Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Canby, won his third consecutive term for the U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District.
Statewide, Schrader received 54 percent of 288,551 votes. His closest challenger, Republican Fred Thompson of Salem, netted 43 percent.
The race between the two was tight in Polk County, with Schrader winning 49 percent of the vote to Thompson's 47 percent.
Republican Vicki Berger of West Salem was tapped by voters for her sixth consecutive term as Representative for House District 20, which includes Independence, Monmouth and West Salem in Polk County.
Berger, now House Republican Whip, defeated challenger Jackie Pierce, who also lives in West Salem, by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent.
Berger has held the seat for a decade now. She was co-chairwoman of the Revenue Committee and the Joint Tax Credits Committee during the 2011 Oregon Legislature.
Rep. Jim Thompson, (R-Dallas) easily retained his seat in the Oregon House of Representatives District 23, earning nearly 60 percent of the vote in the three-way race.
"I'm pleased, gratified," Thompson said. "It's nice that people still have confidence in me."
According to final unofficial districtwide results, Thompson had 59 percent of the vote, Democrat Ross Swartzendruber was second with 32.96 percent and Green Party candidate Alex Polkioff earned 7.63 percent of the vote.
Thompson said the state's budget will be the biggest task the legislature will have to tackle in the upcoming session. He said due to revenue shortfalls, the state will have to look at a major realignment of services.
"It's going to be a tough session," he said. "It looks like Republicans will be in the minority, which is not a good place to be. That doesn't change the fact that we have a $5 billion budget hole to fill. Either the Democrats are going to have to work with Republicans to fill it or Democrats will have to fill it by themselves."
Democrat David Gomberg of Neotsu won the contest for House District 10, which represents mostly Central Coast constituents. Falls City and a small portion of Polk County around Grand Ronde are also part of the district.
Gomberg beat Republican Jerome Grant of Depoe Bay by a vote of 60 percent to 40 percent.
The seat was up for grabs with Rep. Jean Cowan (D-Newport) retiring this year.
Gomberg owns Gomberg Kites International, one of the United States' largest kite manufacturers.
Incumbent Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) won his second term in the Oregon Senate, besting Democrat Anne Frank of Dayton by a wide margin.
Boquist received 60 percent of the vote to Frank's 39 percent. His District 12 represents parts of Polk, Marion, Yamhill, Benton and Linn counties, and includes the cities of Dallas and Falls City.
Democrat Arnie Roblan was elected to the Oregon Senate's 5th District, which represents Grand Ronde and Falls City, as well as parts of the Oregon Coast.
Roblan received 55 percent of the vote districtwide to opponent Scott Roberts' 45 percent.
In Polk County, the margin was closer, about 51 percent for Roblan and approximately 49 percent for Roberts.
Roblan was elected to replace Democrat Joanne Verger, who retired from office.