In a bit of a twist, Commissioners from Washington and Multnomah County voted this afternoon to appoint Elizabeth Steiner Hayward to the Oregon Senate, filling the seat vacated by Suzanne Bonamici.
Steiner-Hayward, who campaigned heavily for the seat among precinct committee persons (PCPs) in Washington and Multnomah County, came in second in the voting among that group on December 11. The general expectation from that outcome was that Rep. Chris Harker, who came in first in that balloting, would be appointed. That's almost always the case.
The first vote among the commissioners yielded a tie between Harker and Steiner-Hayward, with 2 of the three conservative Washington County Commissioners voting for Steiner-Hayward. A third conservative Washington County Commissioner, Bob Terry, who is currently on a boat near Panama,
had to be contacted to cast the deciding vote dialed in for the meeting. Because the Senate district has many more Washington County constituents, the votes of those commissioners are given much greater weight.
Ironically during the December 11 precinct committee meeting, Multnomah County PCPs seemed to be voting heavily for Steiner-Hayward, but were out-voted by the majority Washington County folks. It would seem that the county's own commissioners undermined them, handing the more liberal Multnomah County folks what they were asking for.