Democrats Pick Up Two Seats With Strong Mandate from Voters

In the 2014 General Election, Democrats expanded our 16-14 majority in the Oregon State Senate by defeating two incumbent Republican senators and picking up two new seats.

Across the state, Democratic candidates for the state Senate together won over 150,000 more votes than the bloc of Republican Senate candidates. That represents a 58% majority vote share for the Democrats and just 35% for the Republicans.

Party Total Votes Percent
Democratic 407,044 58.5
Republican 247,642 35.6
Other Candidates 40,691 5.9





Primary Results Show Democratic Momentum for November Election


May 20 election reveals favorable political environment in key swing districts

Results from Oregon’s May Primary Election indicate that Senate Democrats have the momentum in key swing districts going into the 2014 General Election.

“Voters in Southern Oregon and the Mid-Valley delivered a strong message yesterday about their excitement to elect Democratic candidates for the Senate,” said Tom Powers, executive director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund. “These results show that Senator Alan Bates and Rep. Sara Gelser are both in very strong positions heading into the 2014 election.”

Southern Oregon’s Jackson County passed a prohibition on growing genetically-engineered crops by a margin of two-to-one and boosted total voter turnout in the county to 51 percent, with Democrats turning out at a higher rate than Republicans. A similar statewide initiative requiring the labeling of genetically-engineered food is likely to make the ballot for the general election, generating a positive turnout trend for Democrats in November.

As a result, Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) received nearly 4,000 more votes in the Democratic primary than his Republican opponent, David Dotterrer, won in his respective primary.

In Senate District 8, which includes Corvallis and Albany, Rep. Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis) won nearly 2,000 more votes in the Democratic Primary than her opponent, incumbent Sen. Betsy Close (R-Albany) did in the Republican primary.

“Senate Democrats have already started to run high-level campaigns to win critical districts in November. Yesterday’s results show that we’ll be working on favorable turf,” said Powers. “We know that there’s a lot of work to do between now and the next Election Day, and we’ll have the resources to get it done.”

In Clackamas County, voters re-elected two moderate incumbent County Commissioners, indicating a departure from a recent trend of electing conservative Tea Party candidates. Powers pointed to the elections in Clackamas as a positive sign for Jamie Damon (D-Eagle Creek), candidate for Senate District 20. Damon is challenging Sen. Alan Olsen (R-Canby), a Tea Party favorite who won in the Republican tidal wave election in 2010.

“Clackamas County voters have had enough of the Oregon Transformation Project and their hard-right, Tea Party politics,” said Powers. “Jamie Damon is exactly the kind of common-sense, moderate leader who reflects the values of District 20, and she’s hard at work to win in November.”

The Oregon Secretary of State will certify the results of the May Primary Election on June 19.

Jamie Damon Announces Run for Oregon State Senate

Eagle Creek – Former Clackamas County Commissioner Jamie Damon today announced her campaign to represent District 20 in the Oregon State Senate.

Damon – who has worked for more than 25 years as a public policy mediator and facilitator – said that she was motivated to run for the Legislature because of a lack of leadership on the priorities of rural Clackamas County voters.

“We deserve leaders who can work across the aisle to get things done for Oregonians,” said Damon. “As the State Senator from the heart of Clackamas County, I will work tirelessly to bring people together and find solutions for our families, farms, and forests.”

In 2011, Damon won appointment to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, where she served until 2013. During her tenure as a commissioner, she achieved full Board support for managing timber harvests on county lands to fund crucial programs, helped provide funding for vital senior services, and supported the creation of the new Family Justice Center, which provides victims of domestic violence legal, counseling and other services to help them recover. Damon also led initiatives to make county government more open and accessible to local taxpayers.

Damon cited supporting local businesses as her top priority. “Our communities need family wage jobs and employers need leaders who support investments in infrastructure and workforce development,” said Damon. “Clackamas County deserves a strong champion in the State Capitol. For the success of our communities, we need our jobs, our schools, and our priorities to be given the attention they deserve.”

“Jamie really has what it takes to deliver results for our community in the Legislature,” said Becky Arnold, former mayor of Estacada. “Jamie has a unique ability to bring people together, and that's exactly what we need for our rural Clackamas County communities.”

Damon currently serves as a Regional Solutions Coordinator for Governor Kitzhaber and will transition out of the Governor’s office in July.

Senate District 20 includes the cities of Oregon City, Gladstone, Canby, Estacada, Damascus, Barlow, and Johnson City, as well as the communities of Beavercreek, Eagle Creek, Jennings Lodge, Charbonneau, Mulino, Boring, and Redland.

Jamie Damon has lived in Oregon for more than 35 years and in rural Clackamas County for nearly 20 years. She has earned a reputation as a common sense leader who brings people together to find solutions for rural Oregon. Jamie lives in Eagle Creek with her husband and two daughters.

For more information on the Jamie Damon for State Senate campaign, visit her website: and Facebook page, which is online here.




Rob Bruce to Run for State Senate

Sandy, Oregon (October 21, 2013) - 

Robert Bruce, a small business consultant from Sandy, today announced his campaign for the Oregon State Senate in District 26. The district includes all of Hood River County, as well as large portions of Clackamas and Multnomah Counties.

“It’s time our communities had a state senator who stepped up and solved the problems facing everyday Oregonians,” said Bruce. “Small businesses continue to struggle and our schools still aren’t getting the funding they need. We can do better and we must do better, and that’s why I’m running for the Oregon Senate.”

Robert has spent his career finding innovative solutions to help small businesses grow and manage projects. At Sandy River Construction Services, Robert works directly with local construction companies to ensure they have all the tools necessary to be competitive and grow in a sustainable manner.

In recent years, Robert has advocated for small businesses as a member of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME). In 2011, Robert helped lead the effort to pass legislation that would have leveled the playing field for small businesses on architectural and engineering contracts. He continues to advocate for policies that would make it easier for small businesses to provide health care coverage to their employees, such as eliminating the exemption for the insurance industry from Oregon’s anti-fraud laws.

“Robert Bruce knows what it takes to focus in and get the job done right, and I trust his leadership when it comes to solving complex problems,” said Annie Kendrick, owner of Kendrick Business Services. “We need Robert in the Senate because he’s got the right priorities and a common-sense approach to delivering results.”

Robert’s campaign has already received endorsements from Sandy City Councilor Grant Baker, former Sandy Mayor Dick Harrison, and other community leaders in the district.

“I look forward to talking one-on-one with as many voters in District 26 as possible so I can hear about their priorities,” he said. “As your state senator, I will put the prosperity and vitality of our communities above politics and party-line votes.”


September 12 marked the first day that candidates for the 2014 election could officially file their paperwork with the Secretary of State. Just 12 days later, a flurry of Senate Democrats have filed for re-election, and a top recruit has emerged to challenge an incumbent Republican senator in a Democratic-leaning district.

Senate Democrats who have filed for re-election already:

  • Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem/Gervais/Woodburn)
  • Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford)
  • Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield)
  • Senator Chris Edwards (D-Eugene)
  • Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose)
  • Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Beaverton)
  • Senator Rod Monroe (D-Portland)

Rep. Sara Gelser to Run for Senate District 8

On September 16, Rep. Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis) announced that she would run for the State Senate in District 8, currently held by Sen. Betsy Close (R-Albany), who was appointed to the position in October 2012.

News of Gelser's candidacy spread quickly and was met with lots of enthusiasm from Democrats and the progressive community. Check out the coverage below! 

The Oregonian: Oregon Rep. Sara Gelser to Run for State Senate

Corvallis Gazette-Times: Gelser to Seek Seat in State Senate

Albany Democrat-Herald: Gelser to Seek Seat in State Senate

Willamette Week: State Rep. Sara Gelser Will Run for Key Senate Seat

BlueOregon: Great News! Sara Gelser for SD 8

BlueOregon: Why Sara Gelser's Run for State Senate Is Such a Big Deal

You can help Rep. Gelser in her race for state Senate by pitching in a contribution at her ActBlue page. Help her get the momentum and the money she needs to win!


Oregonians Vote to Retain Senate Democratic Majority

PORTLAND, Ore--Returns from Tuesday night's election delivered a decisive victory for the Oregon Senate Democrats, who will hold a 16-14 majority in the 2013 Legislative Session.

Out of 16 seats up for grabs in this cycle, Democrats held on to their 8 seats to preserve the balance of power and keep the majority. Key races included East Multnomah County's Senate District 25, where Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson handily won a second term, and the Oregon Coast, where Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan won an open seat contest to succeed retiring Sen. Joanne Verger.

"Democrats ran hard-fought campaigns with a message that spoke to everyday Oregonians," said Tom Powers, executive director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund. "Our victories in East County, on the Oregon Coast and in the Portland area show that voters overwhelmingly chose the Democratic majority to keep working for them".

In Beaverton's Senate District 14, Senator Mark Hass turned back a challenge from towing company magnate Gary Coe (R-Sylvan) by a comfortable 20 percent margin to win his second full term in the Oregon Senate. Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, appointed in December 2011 to succeed Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, won the right to serve out the remainder of her term by a 2-to-1 margin against John Verbeek.

In Portland, incumbent Senators Ginny Burdick, Chip Shields, Jackie Dingfelder and Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum all easily won election to new 4-year terms.

Democratic challengers also ran spirited campaigns in Republican-held seats.

"Our challenger candidates fought the good fight, carrying the banner for our party and giving Oregonians in these districts a clear choice for the right priorities," said Powers. "Oregonians across the state will benefit from the Senate Democratic Majority, and these candidates played a huge role in keeping our team in place".

In seats that saw the most spending and campaign activity, Senate Districts 5, 14, and 25, Democrats won 3-0.