John Kitzhaber was a little bit off last night when he invoked Jeff Merkley's U.S. Senate run two years ago and suggested he might wake up this morning having been declared victorious in the governor's race. If anything, he might have to wait until Thursday morning.
As ballots are counted throughout the state, especially in good ol' progressive Multnomah County (where the uncounted tally remains in the tens of thousands), Chris Dudley's statistically slender lead over Kitzhaber continues to grow ever more slender. (And everybody knock on wood: I heard the word "recount" mentioned on OPB this morning. Shudder.)
Here in Portland, we're stuck waiting for a similarly tight battle to resolve itself over Randy Leonard's fire bond proposal. Maybe that's why Leonard keeps getting up from the dais in City Hall? As of 11 am, the measure is currently ahead by 708 votes—out of just shy of 160,000 ballots counted so far. Another race where it might be a couple of days before we really know WTF is going on.
Also up in the air, as far as I'm concerned, is the fate of voter-owned elections in Portland. That measure is trailing by fewer than 5,000 votes, a smaller gap, proportionally, than the early returns showed last night. The Oregonian has called it as a loss, according to its results page, but I still want to see how all the late votes still being counted break. A lot of those votes, I suspect, are the handiwork of groups like the Bus Project that back the measure and which brought out a lot of people at the last minute, both this weekend and on Election Day.
UPDATE 11:57 AM: The campaign backing voter-owned elections has just conceded. "We are disheartened but remain more convinced than ever that the corrosive influence of money in politics must be addressed at all levels of government," the campaign says in a statement.
Meanwhile, Bob Stacey still might have a chance in his bid to become Metro's next president. Once more, we're waiting for Multnomah County, since there are fewer votes left to count in Tom Hughes-backing Washington and Clackamas counties.
And while it looks more and more likely, Democrats are wringing their hands over the chance that not one but both houses of the Oregon Legislature will revert to split control between the Dems and the GOP. Only two years ago, the Democratic Party surged to three-fifths super-majorities that gave them carte-blanche over taxes and budgets.
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