- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - While some progressive voters may have felt torn between Bernie Sanders’ idealism and the pragmatism of front-runner Hillary Clinton, when it was all over Oregon Democrats went with the senator from Vermont.

Sanders won by nearly 10 percentage points over the former secretary of state in the Tuesday primary.

Donald Trump steamed to victory in Oregon’s Republican primary election with his main rivals departed, even if two of them remained on the ballot.

The presidential primary was the main event in Oregon’s primary on Tuesday. But other races were also decided:

- Gov. Kate Brown overwhelmingly clinched the Democratic nomination. It marks her first run for the post she inherited early last year when Gov. John Kitzhaber stepped down. In November she faces Republican oncologist Bud Pierce, who defeated businessman Allen Alley, marking Alley’s second failed attempt at the gubernatorial nomination.

- In the race for secretary of state - the second-most powerful position in Oregon - Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian won the Democratic primary. He will square off against former GOP gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson.

- Among ballot measures, Hood River County voters imposed a ban on commercial water bottling, ending an effort by Nestle to build a water-bottling plant in the job-scarce town of Cascade Locks amid concerns about water scarcity and preserving the environment.

- In conservative Grant County, voters rejected an effort to allow marijuana cultivation and sales. Klamath County, in the south, faced a similar measure and vote tallies indicated a similar result there.

Sanders’ win on Tuesday in this generally liberal state doesn’t seem enough to stop Clinton’s momentum.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who is one of Oregon’s 13 Democratic superdelegates, told The Associated Press that she won’t reconsider her Clinton endorsement and it’s time for Sanders to step out of the way.

“I’m all in for Hillary and I believe she is going to be the next president,” Rosenblum said in a telephone interview. “I think it’s time for Bernie to wake up and smell the coffee … so that we can ensure that a Democrat will be elected, and (that) it won’t be Donald Trump.”

Even some Democratic voters in Oregon, who either mailed in their ballots or dropped them off at collection points, who voted for Sanders felt that a Trump-Clinton showdown in November is inevitable.

“I think we need huge change,” said Mary Brewster, a 62-year-old from Portland who voted for Sanders.

“It doesn’t mean I think he could pull it off,” she said. “But I thought that it would be important to vote for the things I believed in, and then vote for Hillary in the general election.”

With 69 percent of the Oregon vote counted, Sanders had 54 percent to Clinton’s 46 percent. Trump easily defeated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who had both already ended their campaigns, with 67 percent of the vote.

Sanders visited Oregon three times in recent weeks, while Clinton chose to send her husband Bill instead.

The contested presidential primaries energized Oregonians. About 160,000 Oregon voters added themselves to the Democratic and Republican rolls this year, most as Democrats.

Looking ahead to the Democratic National Convention in July, Oregon will send the superdelegates, who can vote as they please, and another 61 pledged delegates, who are required to initially vote according to Tuesday’s primary results.

Oregon’s Republican party has 28 pledged delegates, and no superdelegates.


Associated Press writer Manuel Valdes contributed to this report.

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