SALEM — Democrats were poised to win supermajorities in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature, with partial returns from Tuesday’s showing they could flip two Senate seats and three House seats.
If they win just one more seat in each chamber, they’ll reach a three-fifths supermajority that would improve their chances at increasing corporate taxes in a state where corporations pay one of the lowest rates in the nation.
Currently, the Democrats hold a 35 to 25 seat edge in the House and the 17 to 13 advantage in the Senate.
The Democrats could increase their number of seats in the following tight races:
In the House, Rachel Prusak, Democratic candidate for District 37 south of Portland, was leading Republican Rep. Julie Parrish. Courtney Neron, of Wilsonville, had a slight edge over Rep. Rich Vial, a Republican, in District 26. Anna Williams Democratic candidate for District 52 in northern Oregon, was leading Republican Rep. Jeff Helfrich.
In the Senate, Democratic candidate Jeff Golden had a slight lead over Republican Jessica Gomez. Republican Sen. Chuck Thomsen was even with Democrat Chrissy Reitz in the battle to represent their district of northern Oregon.
Months ago, Democrats had hopes of also winning the House seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend. But the party leadership essentially disowned their party’s candidate, Nathan Boddie, after he was accused of groping a woman and then maligned her character after she made the accusation.
Cheri Helt, a Republican who with her husband owns two restaurants in Bend and is a school board member, benefited from the disarray and had 64 percent of the vote Tuesday night, according to the partial returns.