Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hummel ousts Flaherty; Wehby crushes Conger; levies pass

John Hummel pummeled incumbent District Attorney Patrick Flaherty by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin as voters showed their displeasure with the hot-headed D.A.'s management style.

In the GOP Senate race, local boy Jason Conger beat Monica ("Stalker") Wehby by a 2-to-1 margin in Deschutes County, but she was cruising to victory statewide by nearly 20 percentage points over Conger.

Wehby had the national GOP machinery behind her, which included a hefty fund-raising advantage over Conger. The late disclosures that police were called against her, twice from her ex-husband and then an ex-boyfriend, didn't seem to hurt her that much.

Still, the stalking allegations show that she's a bit unstable and may not be ready for prime time in the fall.

Wehby will likely be "unavailable" to the media for months.

The fire and emergency personnel levies that bolster their public retirement accounts passed easier in Bend than in the county. Property taxes will rise again with little or no improvement in services.

Randy Miller easily defeated Thomas Spear for circuit court judge, which proves that experience doesn't matter to voters.

The turnout was pathetic, probably less than 40 percent, far off the pace from four years ago, when it was nearly 46 percent. Of course, the Tea Party was in full swing then.

This is consistent nationally as teabaggers continue losing to establishment Republicans in this election cycle. The economy is better so its harder to rock the boat. Incumbents should benefit in the fall from this economic uptick.

Although Democrats have a slight edge in registrations over Republicans in the county, 30,737 to 30,266, the GOP, as of 11 p.m., turned out more voters by about 8 percentage points.

Unaffiliated voters in Deschutes County make up nearly 37 percent of the electorate now (35,671), but only about 13 percent of them, by 11 p.m., bothered to vote in the primary, which is closed to the political parties. Maybe they thought if they didn't vote, the levies wouldn't pass without a double majority. Well, that rule no longer applies in May and November elections.

It's on to the fall where our Democratic governor and senator are vulnerable thanks to the terrible role out of the Affordable Care Act. Who knows, by the fall that may be old news. Stay tuned.

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