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OR: Environmental victory lap

Among the groups registering pleasure or not after Tuesday’s voting was the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, who got heavily involved in a bunch of party primaries.

And it was very happy with the results. Its release today seems worth a quote at length.

Throughout Oregon, OLCV’s endorsed candidates in contested races won 14 races and lost only once – with two more races still to be decided in fall run-offs.

In the marquee race of the night, OLCV scored a huge win for the environment in House District 48 (SE Portland/Happy Valley). Future environmental champion Jeff Reardon overwhelmed incumbent Mike Schaufler by a wide margin – 66%-34%! During his time in the Legislature, Schaufler had earned a lifetime 57% on the OLCV Environmental Scorecard. From start to finish, the Reardon campaign ran an excellent race and OLCV couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of Jeff’s campaign.

Speaking of future environmental champions, OLCV had a clean sweep of our other targeted legislative races, with our candidates winning in HD 47 (East Portland), HD 36 (SW Portland), and HD 29 (Forest Grove/Cornelius/Hillsboro). Congratulations to Jessica Vega Pederson, Jennifer Williamson and Ben Unger!

But there’s more to celebrate than just our successes in legislative races.

Looking ahead, there will be a Metro Council that has new Councilors Sam Chase, Bob Stacey and Craig Dirksen on it. Sam and Bob both scored big wins last night (Craig was unopposed). This will be, by far, the most environmentally-friendly Metro Council we’ve ever had.

In Clackamas County, Martha Schrader won her race for County Commission Position 3 outright. In the race for County Commission Chair and Commission Position 4, our respective candidates – Charlotte Lehan and Jamie Damon – both advanced to fall run-offs. These were tough races and are critical for the future of Clackamas County. Anti-environmental groups and corporations are pouring money and resources into Tea Party candidates, and during the November election, you can be sure there will be a lot of focus on these races.

Moving over to Washington County, our candidates won all three of their races. In his contested County Commission race, Dick Schouten won re-election decisively. Likewise, Denny Doyle was re-elected as Beaverton Mayor and Mark Fagin was elected to the Beaverton City Council.

In Lane County, Pete Sorenson was elected to another term on the Lane County Commission. Pete has been a long-time champion for the conservation community in Lane County, and we’re looking forward to another four years of his efforts on behalf of the environment. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy also earned another term with her win last night.

Also in Lane County, Rob Handy unfortunately fell short in his bid for re-election to the Lane County Commission. Rob has been a very strong advocate on conservation issues and we thank him – and all our OLCV volunteers and staff – for their tremendous work and Herculean effort in what was a really tough uphill climb.

And closing out our endorsed candidates, let’s not forget Steve Novick’s big win for the Portland City Council. Steve will be bringing his vision, leadership, and strong sense of humor into public service where it is sorely needed.

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