Yes, it was election day today - at least for the 55,000+ voters who are registered with the Independent Party of Oregon.
2290 voters participated, making for roughly a 4% voter turnout - roughly a tenth of the turnout for the May primary. Not particularly impressive, but given the historic nature of the online-only third-party primary, still meaningful - especially for the candidates that competed.
John Kitzhaber won the gubernatorial nomination with 850 votes - over Richard Esterman (438) and Jerry Wilson (300). 314 voters wrote in a name (and according to party leader Dan Meek, 294 of those were for Chris Dudley) and 312 voted "none of the above".
In the two congressional races featuring the Democratic and Republican nominees, the two Republicans won - Scott Bruun in the 5th and Art Robinson in the 4th.
There were nine State Senate races and seven State House races where both the Democratic and Republican nominees sought the IPO nomination.
Democrats won three of the nine Senate races, and two of the seven House races. Nine of the sixteen races were won by incumbents - so it seems that the Independent primary electorate has a GOP lean, rather than an anti-incumbent lean.
Of course, a number of these elections were won with a vote margin of less than ten votes. The hotly-contested race between Senator Richard Devlin and Mary Kremer was decided 49 to 44. That's votes, not percentage. (And hey, Rep. Ben Cannon blew away his opponent in a landslide, seven votes to four.)
So, the question for our readers is this: What does this all mean? Is this a meaningful primary election? Does the Independent Party of Oregon have a future in this state? Should they?
On the jump, the full list of winners in the sixteen contested legislative races...
- SD-4 (Eugene): Marilyn Kittelman (R)
- SD-8 (Albany): Frank Morse (R)
- SD-10 (Salem): Jackie Winters (R)
- SD-13 (Sherwood): Larry George (R)
- SD-15 (Hillsboro): Chuck Riley (D)
- SD-16 (Scappoose): Betsy Johnson (D)
- SD-19 (Tualatin): Richard Devlin (D)
- SD-24 (Portland): Rob Wheeler (R)
- SD-26 (Clackamas): Chuck Thomsen (R)
- HD-5 (Ashland): Peter Buckley (D)
- HD-21 (Salem): Marvin Sannes (R)
- HD-35 (Tigard): Gordon Fiddes (R)
- HD-39 (Canby): Bill Kennemer (R)
- HD-46 (Portland): Ben Cannon (D)
- HD-54 (Bend): Jason Conger (R)
- HD-59 (The Dalles): John Huffman (R)