On May 15, Oregon held its 2012 primary election. The balloting featured UO graduates competing for seats in races at the local, state, and federal level.
Locally, voters decided on nonpartisan positions at the city and council levels, with many candidates winning by more than 50 percent, allowing them to run unopposed in the fall. Eugene mayor Kitty Piercy, a strong UO supporter, was reelected to serve a third term in the position. Also in Eugene, Steve Mital, the university’s director of sustainability, won a seat on the Eugene Water and Electric Board of Commissioners.
In Springfield, Christine Lundberg, who attended the University of Oregon, won election to her first full term as mayor of Springfield. Lundberg is a former city councilor appointed to replace mayor Sid Leiken when Leiken won a seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners. At the county level, UO graduate Peter Sorensen ’73, JD ’82, won reelection to the Lane County Board of Commissioners. Current Eugene city councilor Pat Farr, who attended the University of Oregon, was also elected to the board of commissioners.
UO graduates ran and won in communities across the state. In Portland, Charlie Hales and UO graduate Jefferson Smith ’96 advanced to a fall run-off in the Portland mayoral race. UO graduate Steve Novick ’81 also won a seat on the Portland City Council, garnering over 74 percent of Tuesday’s vote, enough to avoid a run-off in the fall.
Former UO student body president Jennifer Williamson ’96 won the Democratic primary to run for the open seat in House District 36 in Portland. She will face Republican Bruce Neal in the fall. Former UO student body vice president Ben Unger also won his party’s nomination to run for the Oregon House in District 29. He will face incumbent State Representative Katie Eyre (R-Hillsboro).
UO graduate and former Springfield mayor John Lively ’74 received the Democratic nomination to run for the open seat being vacated by current State Representative Terry Beyer (D-Springfield). He will face current Springfield city councilor Joe Pishoneri. Current Umatilla county commissioner Bill Hansell ’67 received the Republican nomination to run for the Oregon Senate in District 29, the seat being vacated by retiring State Senator David Nelson ’64.
In statewide races, UO law graduate Ellen Rosenblum, JD ’71, won the Democratic primary for attorney general of Oregon over Dwight Holton. No Republican candidates filed to run for the position.
UO graduate Congressman Peter DeFazio ’77 won his Democratic primary election over Matthew Robinson, netting over 94 percent of the vote. DeFazio will face Republican challenger Art Robinson during the fall election. UO graduates and incumbent Oregon members of Congress, Republican Greg Walden ’81 and Democrat Suzanne Bonamici, JD ’83, also won their parties’ nominations.
Full results from the primary election can found on the Oregon Secretary of State website.