- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday won Oregon’s Democratic presidential primary.

The results were no surprise, as Biden is his party’s presumptive nominee. Biden outpaced Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who both suspended their campaigns earlier in the year.

President Donald Trump, who was unopposed, won the Oregon GOP presidential contest.

In presidential elections Oregon is a solidly blue state. The last time a GOP nominee won the state was 1984, when Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale.

In the Republican Senate primary, Jo Rae Perkins won. Perkins will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley.



Oregonians are returning mail-in ballots for the state’s primary, and one of the highest-profile races Tuesday is the GOP contest to be the nominee in the state’s vast 2nd Congressional District covering eastern Oregon.

Rep. Greg Walden, the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, is not running for a 12th term. Republicans running for the seat being vacated by Walden include Knute Buehler, a former member of the Legislature who unsuccessfully ran for Oregon governor in 2018; former state Sen. Cliff Bentz; and former state legislator Jason Atkinson.

Four Democrats are seeking the seat in the conservative district.

Of more interest are the party races for Oregon secretary of state - the second-highest statewide office after the governor.

Democrats running for secretary of state include state Sens. Shemia Fagan and Mark Hass, and Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who ran unsuccessfully against Walden in 2018.

State Sen. Kim Thatcher and David Stauffer, who has worked as a securities analyst for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, are the only GOP candidates.

The election is taking place during the coronavirus outbreak, and officials are taking precautions with ballot handling. Election workers have been receiving instructions on handling ballots along with protective equipment from the Oregon National Guard and others.

One local race is garnering national attention. Voters in metropolitan Portland will be asked to approve taxes on personal income and business profits that would raise $2.5 billion over a decade to fight homelessness.

The ballot measure was planned before the pandemic reduced the U.S. economy to tatters. How voters in the liberal city react amid the pandemic will be instructive for other West Coast cities struggling to address burgeoning homeless populations as other sources of revenue dry up.

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This story has been corrected to show that there are two GOP candidates for secretary of state, not one.

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