Press Releases

With Strong Candidates Across the Map, Oregon Democrats Are Poised to Win Big in 2012 Legislative Races

Mar 06, 2012


Contact: Erik Dorey  |  press [at] dpo [dot] org  |  (503) 239-8624

Portland, Ore. (March 6, 2012) – 

Today marks the filing deadline for Oregon candidates to run for elected office in 2012, and Democrats are confident that the strength of their lineup in key statewide, legislative, county and municipal races will translate to big gains in this election year. With majorities at stake in the House and Senate, Democrats are putting forward winning candidates with fresh ideas to grow the economy and real solutions for middle-class Oregonians. Republicans, meanwhile, are intent on advancing a narrow ideological agenda with the same failed policies that voters have consistently rejected.

“2012 is going to be a big year for Oregon Democrats across the board, and we’re particularly excited to win back the state House and hold a strong majority in the Senate,” said Meredith Wood Smith, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “All across our state, great Democratic candidates have stepped forward to serve their communities. Democrats’ message of standing up for the middle class, small businesses and working families will resonate strongly with voters.”

In the Senate, Democrats are on track to hold the majority, with strong legislators in key contests eager to run on their records–leaders like Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson from Senate District 25 in East Multnomah County and House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan, who is running for Senate District 5 on the Oregon coast.

In the February legislative session both Roblan and Monnes Anderson delivered on home foreclosure reform to benefit middle-class families, while also passing legislation to transform Oregon’s education system for our children.

“Democrats in the Senate have stood up for middle-class Oregonians at every turn,” said Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (Portland). “We'll hold our majority because voters know they can count on Senate Democrats to put Oregon first. Our candidates will be proud to run on their records of service.”

Democrats are poised to take back the House, with excellent candidates set to run against vulnerable Republicans in key districts. There are eight current Republican-held seats in which Democrats have a voter registration advantage, versus zero in the reverse.

To highlight just a few of the great candidates running for the Oregon House: in House District 49 (Troutdale), Democrat Chris Gorsek, a Mt. Hood Community College professor and community leader, will unseat Rep. Matt Wand; Metro Councilor Carl Hosticka will run a strong race to defeat Republican Rep. Julie Parrish in HD 37 (West Linn); and Shemia Fagan in HD 51 will benefit from a newly redrawn district in which Democrats have the clear advantage.

“House Republicans are right to be worried,” said Rep. Tina Kotek (Portland). “Voters won’t forget Republicans’ out-of-touch agenda and willingness to hold hostage the interests of middle-class Oregonians. With registration advantages in key districts, Democrats are poised to take back the House by offering real solutions that work for every Oregonian, not just the privileged few.”

Democrats are particularly encouraged by recent voter turnout data from Washington County, where Suzanne Bonamici’s commanding win in the January 31 special congressional election showed that Democratic voters are engaged as ever in the all-important county.