The room here at the joint election night party for Jeff Cogen, Karol Collymore and Dan Saltzman just broke into big cheers and applause: all three candidates are leading according to the first election returns.

About 120,000 votes were cast in Multnomah County and 90,000 have been counted so far. With 3/4 of the vote counted, Cogen has a whopping 77 percent of the vote in his race, Collymore is leading her crowded pack with 33 percent and Commissioner Saltzman looks like he will narrowly avoid a runoff with 55 percent of the vote.

When I talked to him about half an hour ago, Saltzman said he was feeling nervous. The hour before election results come in is always the "longest hour of my life," says the politician who has run in eight races. He'll likely be sweating through the evening: if his 55 percent margin dips below 50, he'll be facing a runoff in the fall.