Welcome to the Blogtown Election Vulture's Lair, where in this post we'll be covering the Oregon Attorney General race, council races, ballot measures... everything that ain't the mayor's race. The latest updates start at the top of the page! For up to the second news and results follow us on the Twitter @portlandmercury, and in particular #mercelex.
Mercury 1st Election Battalion (nickname: Nightmare Warriors)
From the Mercury Vulture's Lair 10:37 pm: Well the "10:30 pm" results are in, and while not a poop ton of votes have been added, the numbers are basically the same. Check it: Charlie Hales 38.36 percent, Jefferson Smith 29.22, Eileen Brady 23.80 percent. Unless something crazy happens between now and the morning light, we have our two mayoral candidates who will be butting heads all the way to November. Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan are tied at 44 percent, and the only clear winners of the night are Ellen Rosenblum (AG), Steve Novick (city council), Bob Stacey (metro), Sam Chase (metro) and the Multnomah County Library (who I'm sure is gonna be wicked hungover tomorrow). Be sure to check out our party-night election wrap-up in this week's edition of the Mercury, hitting the streets by early afternoon tomorrow! THANKS FOR JOINING US!
METRO RACE Bob Stacey party 10:37 pm: Metro Councilor-elect Bob Stacey says he'll focus on keeping that pesky urban-growth boundary in check. To do that, he hopes to develop nine potential sites inside the boundary for industrial development. Keeping growth in the city will keep jobs in the city and it will keep farmland from being developed, he says. We can assume Stacey will keep his word. He knows a thing or two about sustainability. Stacey also spent the first part of the night with his right pant leg tucked into his sock because he biked to his campaign party. And if that ain't a ringing endorsement for environmental credibility, I don’t know what is. (NG)
Mary Nolan party 10:30 pm: Party's wrapping up fo'real. Nolan is saying she needs sleep and is trying to coerce guests into taking home the leftover vegetables and beer. The couple at the piano are playing, and singing. The cheese plate looks about half empty. No, wait—about 44 percent to 44 percent. The rest is in my belly. (GP)
Steve Novick party 10:20 pm: After his win, Steve Novick says he plans on getting started right away planning for his new job as City Commissioner. Okay, so that’s not until January. And Novick already has a day job at the Oregon Health Authority. Come January this is what we might see: First on Novick’s agenda is mental health and public safety. Novick says he wants to work with the state and county to focus on funding prevention instead of jail beds. Second, Novick says he wants to help reform the state healthcare system. And third on his list is earthquake preparation, (I’m not kidding. Unlike many politician,s Novick takes the matter of our impending doom very seriously.) Novick says he wants to get low-interest loans for homeowners whose houses aren’t attached to their foundations (there are more of these in Oregon than you might think). Novick has other plans in the works, but for now, he is enjoying his victory, and tomorrow, a vacation in New Orleans. (NG)
METRO RACE Sam Chase's party 10:14 pm: "I'm feeling very good here," Sam Chase, who's running for Metro Council said at his campaign party at Santa Fe Taqueria in Northwest Portland. "We'll see where things are." Although Chase, who serves as the executive director of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics, had 58 percent of the vote in Multnomah County, he was still cautious about declaring victory before getting a concession call from his main opponent, Helen Ying.
"I think I've been really impressed with how much people care about the quality of life in our region and protecting what is unique in our region," Chase said.
"You're boring," Zoe Chase, his 9-year-old daughter, piped in.
Chase's phone rang. It was Ying calling to congratulate him. (JT)
Mary Nolan party 9:51 pm: A young man just jumped onto the piano here at the North Star Ballroom, and a woman is now perched in a foldout chair next to him, belting out ballads. They sound 1940s-ish, and her voice reminds me of Adele. KJ Lewis, Nolan's campaign manager: "This is great. Normally you pay money for this sort of show. They're just here, singing for us assholes!" The party is still hovering around just 15 people but it's kind of hopping. Beth Cohen, Nolan's communications intern, told me she likes Nolan because, "while she comes off as really tough, she's not one to dig her heels in. She will always reach across the aisle and come to a solution." Ooh! Barbara Roberts (Oregon's only female governor, 1991-95) is here! (GP)
Leaving Amanda Fritz's party: Going from Fritz's party (no alcohol was served) to Jefferson Smith's is like crossing the Berlin Wall. (JH)
Novick/Stacey party 9:45 pm: As election results continue to roll in, Bob Stacey says he and Steve Novick will continue to party. “I hope we can be a refuge for people battered and beaten in the other elections,” said Stacey. Well-said. I think there might be a few of those nearby. (NG)
From the Mercury Vulture's Lair: Nathan just sent in this pic of Steve Novick reveling in his win.
That is the sheen of victory, my friends! BOW BEFORE IT!!! (WSH)
AG RACE Ellen Rosenblum party 9:24 pm With no Republican candidate in the general election, Rosenblum told me she was "cautiously optimistic" about the election. And with current AG John Kroger stepping down early to run Reed College, Rosenblum is likely to be appointed to the post early. Rosenblum brushed off suggestions that her victory sends a message to those seeking to undermine medical marijuana laws. "It's actually a health care law," she said. (JT)
Mary Nolan party 9:10 pm Uncencorsed Kanye West "Better, Faster, Stronger." I can dig it. "Damn they don't make 'em like this anymore/I ask cause I'm not sure/Do anybody make real shit anymore?"—Mary Nolan for City Commissioner, 2012. These guys are having fun with fashion! (GP)
Amanda Fritz party 9:16 pm: Fritz says her plan for the runoff is to keep doing her job and that what she's best at is interacting with the people. When asked how she will face the financial disadvantage against Nolan—Fritz is limiting contributions to just $50 per supporter while Nolan is taking any and all gifts—Fritz said she just can't ask people for money. And if that means she loses? So be it.
Novick/Stacey party 9:15 pm: It’s official (and not surprising). Both Steve Novick and Bob Stacey have won their respective elections. (If you forgot already: Novick ran for the city council seat long held by Randy Leonard, Stacey for Metro). The most current results have Novick with 73.45 percent of the votes cast so far, with Stacey taking 83.86 percent in his. Novick confessed he was a little annoyed Stacey took a greater percentage of his election’s votes than he took in his own. (NG)
AG RACE Dwight Holton's party 9:11 pm: We move downstairs at Spirit of 77 to hear Dwight Holton's concession speech, as his wife and children stand by him: "I'm so proud of what we did. We fight for people and stand up for people and be on their sides... thank you very, very much." Cheering by all. Chants of "Holton, Holton, Holton." (CF)
AG RACE Ellen Rosenblum party 9:04 pm: Rosenblum just wrapped up her victory speech. It was pretty much what you'd expect from someone who just won the Democratic primary election for attorney general. "Oregon has ben good to me and my family," she said. "I wish everyone could be more fortunate."
Rosenblum also said that state agencies will get the best legal representation possible and she would work with Governor John Kitzhaber on initiatives like health care reform. She gave special thanks to women politicians in Oregon, like former Governor Barbara Roberts, who helped pave the way for her to become Oregon's first female attorney general.
It looks like Rosenblum got 63 percent of the vote. Not too shabby. I'm wondering when this confetti is going to get used. (JT)
AG RACE Dwight Holton party, 9 pm: I'm sorta tired of waiting for the concession speech. However, dude that looks like Jack Sparrow/Nick Cave/Sam Elliott is here, wearing an obscene amount of campaign buttons. Some of Dwight Holton's former law students are here keeping me company. Should I shell out for another beer? As I contemplate this existential question, I peer down into the the Pop-A-Shot cages and see that Little Leaguers are inside the arcade games throwing basketballs straight into the hoops. That is probably against Spirit of 77's bar regulations. Just sayin'. (CF)
COUNCIL RACE: Nolan party 8:59 pm: Three 20-something girls just put on party hats. Somebody blew a noisemaker! The music has started. It was almost Hotel California, but then some other rock song I don't recognize came on. Tortilla chips and beer!!! OMFG there's guacamole! Happy Cinco de Mayo! Wait... what? (GP)
COUNCIL RACE: Nolan Party 8:53: Everybody insists they feel great about Nolan's race for city commissioner. Jim Forquer, president of the Portland Firefighters Association Local 43, whose organization backed Nolan's campaign, says he feels good and doesn’t expect to see much change. The results will probably remain even all evening. There's about 20 people here. Somebody just asked me if I was an intern. God damn it—I knew I should have ironed my suit jacket. (GP)
AG RACE: Ellen Rosenblum party 8:24 pm: The room burst into cheers as Rosenblum, who is now almost certain to become the state's first female attorney general, walked into the room. She made her way across hugging and high fiving supporters wearing a big grin. People are complaining about the TV being projected onto the wall with no sound. Supporters continue to sip wine and champagne and eat cupcakes while waiting for Rosenblum's speech. Rosenblum is in the back behind the bar drinking a drink and gazing into her phone. (JT)
From the Mercury Vulture's Lair 8:45 pm: Tony Newman from Drug Policy Action just emailed us a statement saying that it was medical marijuana supporters who ensured Rosenblum's victory—and that it "sends a message to US attorneys nationwide that attacks on medical marijuana have a steep political price." Do you buy that? (WSH)
AG RACE Dwight Holton party 8:35 pm: It is most unfortunate that Spirit of '77 provides a stack of towels on every table at Dwight Holton's party. They are plenty to throw in, as they say. Still waiting for a concession speech... (CF)
COUNCIL RACE: Mary Nolan party 8:30 pm: Mary's here, as are about a dozen of her campaign workers and friends. The barkeep informed me he's also a friend of her campaign against incumbent Commissioner Amanda Fritz, though he does not work for Nolan. "Just a very big supporter!" (Stalker?!) First results are in—about half the votes we'll see have been collected and Nolan is tied at 44 percent with Fritz, Nolan about 200 votes ahead. "We were ready to win outright," Nolan told me, but insists she feels "fabulous." She also mentioned these things:"progressive track record," "stands with middle class families," and "ability." Here is a photo of the pristine cheese plate. Stand by for an "after" photo, around 11pm. (Georgia Perry)
COUNCIL RACE: Amanda Fritz party 8:25 pm: Fritz is watching first results come in. She's in a tie with Nolan. (JH)
AG RACE: Ellen Rosenblum party 8:20 pm: Rosenblum is waiting for Holton to concede; AP and KPTV have already called it, announcing her as the winner. (JT)
AG RACE: Ellen Rosenblum party 8:07 pm: Someone from Roseblum's campaign just announced that they had won Multnomah, Washington, Lane, and Jackson counties. The Secretary of State's office has Rosenblum crushing Holton with 62 percent of the vote. However, the candidate still hasn't shown up. Another campaign staffer walked by talking on the phone saying that the Associated Press is here. Is he talking to Rosenblum? The crowd sure is excited that she won. (JT)
AG RACE: Dwight Holton party 8:05 pm: Dwight Holton's making the rounds, getting his picture taken with some adorable children and talking about an upcoming trip to Disneyland. Moments earlier, the big-screen TVs set up in front of the party were showing Inside Edition's exposé about an office-working strippa. Seems fitting for Portland, but there's murmurs in the crowd of inappropriateness. Also: cash bar and no free food. This news makes me sad and hungry and thirsty. (CF)
Library Measure passes: From the Multnomah County Library: "Multnomah County Measure 26-125 was approved today by Multnomah County voters. The initial vote count indicates 82.3 percent yes to 17.7 percent no, with more than 61,000 people voting in favor of renewing the local option levy at the present rate of $0.89. The measure does not increase taxes, and ensures the majority of library funding will be in place for the next three years." No surprise there, but WOOT!
AG RACE: Ellen Rosenblum's party 8:01 pm: Channel 8 is being projected onto a wall with no sound. Inside Edition just wrapped up and it looks like there's going to be something on TV about some weird medical procedure. It's really distracting. Still no sign of the candidate. (JT)
Novick/Stacey party 7:58 pm: Steve Novick told me he and Bob Stacey’s party at the Holocene had the best food. Having seen it, I’m more than a little skeptical. But hey, it sounds like they are playing all of London Calling front to back. And I have heard worse at this bar. (NG)
AG RACE Ellen Rosenblum party 7:47 pm: Ellen Rosenblum isn't showing up until there are actual results. Also, cash bar and not very good wi-fi connection. There are some very fancy cupcakes at Rosenblum's party. There's also lots of lawyers here. (JT)
AG RACE Dwight Holton party 7:45 pm: I'm tragically early to Dwight Holton's election night party at Spirit of 77's private room upstairs. A campaigner is still hanging a banner, the bar's not open, and his campaign manager looks lonely. A couple ask me if I'm friends with Dwight. And when I answer, his campaign manager says, "Maybe you'll be friends with him by the end of the night." Depends how soon that bar opens up, I reckon. Oooh, Dwight just walked into the house. (Courtney Ferguson)
Novick/Stacey party 7:45 pm: Holocene is party central for Portland’s two nerdiest candidates: Steve Novick and Bob Stacey. Novick is running for the City Commissioner seat long held by Randy Leonard, Stacey for Metro. Both lost their most recent elections, Novick in 2008 and Stacey in 2010. But tonight, both are optimistic about winning. When asked about his chances Stacey broke into a smile. “I’m looking forward to 8:00 pm,” said Stacey grinning. Novick was equally confident about his chances. “Right now we have 49 percent of the vote,” said Novick. If we can’t get that extra 1.1 percent, we must be doing something really wrong.” Novick also added he was happy to see his opponent Jeri Williams was doing so well. (Nathan Gilles)
Amanda Fritz party 7:43 pm: Just talked to Cameron Whitten. He says he hopes to close out the night with at least 50 percent of the vote. [GOOD LUCK ON THAT ONE, CAMERON!—ed.] (Jake Hachquet)
Steve Novick party 7:30 pm:
AG RACE: Ellen Rosenblum party 7:15 pm: People are steadily trickling in the Cleaners, at the Ace Hotel. Tom Petty's "The Waiting" just finished playing. Judging by the cupcakes and bags of confetti, I'm guessing the campaign is pretty optimistic. (Jake Thomas)