- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Latest on Oregon’s primary election (all times local):

11:20 p.m.

State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has defeated his two Democratic opponents - both prominent members of the Oregon Legislature - in a hard-fought, expensive contest in the primary race for secretary of state.

With 66 percent of the vote counted Tuesday night, Avakian had captured more than 39 percent. Rep. Val Hoyle trailed not far behind with 34 percent and Sen. Richard Devlin followed last with about 26 percent.

In November, Avakian faces prominent Republican Dennis Richardson, who’s vying for a political comeback after an unsuccessful run against former Gov. John Kitzhaber two years ago.

Avakian had the strongest financial backing this year until the end of April, when two donations totaling $350,000 pushed Hoyle in the lead and raised the stakes in the race’s last few weeks.


11:12 p.m.

Ron Wyden breezed to victory over two little-known challengers in the Democratic primary for his seat in the U.S. Senate, winning a whopping 84 percent of the vote.

Four incumbents in the U.S. House - three Democrats and a Republican - also easily fended off primary challenges.

The three Democrats are Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader. The Republican is Greg Walden.

Bonamici will face Republican Brian Heinrich in November. Republican Art Robinson will run against DeFazio in the general election. Schrader will be opposed by Republican Colm Willis.

Walden will face Democrat James Crary in November.

Wyden will have two opponents in the fall - Independent Steve Reynolds and Republican Mark Callahan.


10:20 p.m.

State Treasurer Ted Wheeler will be the next mayor of Portland, clinching enough votes to avoid a runoff election in November.

With 46 percent of the vote counted, Wheeler was in the lead at 58 percent while Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey trailed behind in second at 16.2 percent.

Not too far behind Bailey at almost 10 percent was Sarah Innarone, the race’s lesser-known underdog candidate whose campaign picked up surprising steam in recent weeks.

As a nonpartisan race, one of the candidates needed at least 50 percent of the vote to declare a winner and avoid a runoff.


10:15 p.m.

Voters in an eastern Oregon county have rejected a ballot measure that aimed to rescind a ban on marijuana production and sales.

With all the votes in from Grant County, 53.5 percent rejected the measure.

Grant County Judge Scott Myers had said last week that he would be more than surprised if it passed in the largely conservative eastern county.

Voters in Klamath County, in the south, faced a similar ballot measure on Tuesday. There, with 60 percent of the vote counted, 58 percent had voted against requiring the county to allow “state-approved licenses, allowing medical dispensaries, retail farms and retail sales to conduct business.”

Shortly after Oregon voters decided in 2014 to legalize marijuana, the state allowed cities and counties to ban marijuana production and sales where at least 55 percent of voters opposed legalization. Over 100 cities and counties have since “opted out,” according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.


9:55 p.m.

Political newcomer Bud Pierce, a Salem doctor, has defeated four other candidates in the Republican primary for governor.

Pierce was tallying about 48 percent of the vote and is poised for a tough general election race against Democratic incumbent Kate Brown, who easily won her party’s nomination against five lesser-known candidates.

Pierce’s toughest primary opponent was businessman Allen Alley, who was the only candidate with political experience. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2010.

Both Pierce and Brown are fighting to serve out the remaining two years of former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s term - a post Brown assumed in February 2015 when Kitzhaber resigned amid influence-peddling allegations.


9:20 p.m.

Gov. Kate Brown easily clinched the nomination over a field of five lesser-known candidates in the Democratic primary for governor.

With 60 percent of the vote counted, Brown was far ahead of her opponents with nearly 85 percent of the tally.

It marks Brown’s first run for the governorship she inherited last year after her predecessor quit amid a federal investigation, and she was so confident she’d win the primary that she hardly campaigned.

Brown’s Democratic rivals were an ICU physician, an environmental engineer, a home care worker, a Walmart employee and a truck driver.


9:15 p.m.

Voters in Hood River County imposed a ban on commercial water bottling on Tuesday, killing a plan in which Nestle would have built a water-bottling plant in the job-scarce town of Cascade Locks.

Those who supported Measure 14-55 that asked the voters of surrounding Hood River County to ban the commercial production and transport of bottled water had expressed concern about water scarcity and losing the character of the community in the scenic Columbia River Gorge.

Town officials had wanted the project for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue and jobs it could have brought to a town with 19 percent unemployment.

With 60 percent of votes counted, 68 percent of them approved the measure. Nestle said it was “disappointed” in the result.


8:55 p.m.

Dennis Richardson, an unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial candidate two years ago, has staged a political comeback by defeating Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken in the Republican primary for Oregon secretary of state.

With 57 percent of the vote counted, Richardson was way ahead of his opponent at 78 percent.

Two years ago, Richardson made a run for governor and lost to incumbent John Kitzhaber. During that campaign, Richardson repeatedly drew attention to an ethics scandal that ultimately brought down Kitzhaber.

Votes were still being counted in the Democratic primary for secretary of state


8:45 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic presidential primary in Oregon. With 60 percent of the vote counted, the senator from Vermont had 53 percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton was trailing. Sanders visited Oregon three times in recent weeks.

Despite the result, Clinton remains on pace to wrap up the nomination in early June.


8:15 p.m.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has easily won Oregon’s Republican primary.

Trump went unchallenged in Oregon, even though former rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich were on the ballot.

With 35 percent of the vote counted, Trump had a large margin with 63.5 percent of the vote among Republican candidates.


12:10 p.m.

A steady stream of people on foot and bicycle are dropping off their ballots at the Pioneer Courthouse Square drop box.

Though Portland’s deciding a mayor’s race and a gas tax, voters in the liberal city seemed more motivated about the Democratic presidential nominating contest.

Rose Scott says she’d be happy with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but decided to do “stir it up” by voting for a woman.

Richard Walden, meanwhile, says he’ll support Clinton if she gets the nomination, but his “heart is with Bernie.” Melissa Aldrich also went with Bernie, contending he’s “for the people” instead of corporations.


11:40 a.m.

The Oregon secretary of state’s office says 36 percent of registered voters cast a ballot before the last day of the primary election.

Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to turn in their ballot at a drop box. It’s too late to vote by mail.

The secretary of state says more than 2.2 million Oregonians are eligible to vote in the primary, and nearly 835,000 submitted their ballots by Monday night.

The sparsely populated counties of Harney, Grant, Lake and Hood River have the highest turnout percentages so far, all topping 50 percent. Columbia County trails at 29 percent.

In voter-rich Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, turnout was running slightly below the statewide average.


10:25 a.m.

Last-minute Oregon voters are heading to drop boxes around the state to make sure their mail ballots get counted before the 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline.

The presidential race has generated a lot of enthusiasm among Oregonians, with about 160,000 adding their names to the rolls of the two major parties this year - mostly Democrats.

It’s not yet clear how many of those newly registered voters will actually vote. But the secretary of state’s office says more than 1 million votes may be cast in this primary.

Many people wait until the last day or two to fill out their ballots, and then take them to drop boxes.


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