At Portland State University this morning, Senator-Elect Jeff Merkley--accompanied by Senator Ron Wyden--greeted an atrium full of loyal supporters. Late last night, the Oregonian called his tight race against incumbent Republican Senator Gordon Smith; this morning, Merkley and Smith spoke, with Smith congratulating him on his win, and offering his support through the transition.

Wyden and Merkley

Merkley spoke about "the problems that face working families everywhere," like lack of affordable health care, and the need for family wage jobs, education investment, and an end to the war in Iraq.

"There is a lot of work for us to do together, and I couldn't be more honored than to be diving into this in partnership with Ron Wyden," he said. "These issues that we're talking about are the same whether you live in rural Oregon or urban Oregon, whether you have an R after your name or a D after your name. It is time for the problem-solving, bipartisan approach that worked so well for us last year here in the Oregon legislature."

Listen to the two Senators here, introduced by Hatfield School of Government Director Ron Tammen.