elections

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

Yakima voters made history Monday by electing two Latino candidates to a city council that has long wrestled with the implications of the city’s rapidly growing Latino population.

Oregon Governor's Office

Oregon Governor Kate Brown told a reporter in Pendleton, Oregon, Friday that she will run for the office next year.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Republicans control the Washington Senate. But  Monday’s start of the 2015 session featured a Democratic insurgency. It happened when Republicans tried to re-elect Senator Tim Sheldon as President Pro Tem of the Senate.

Sheldon is a Democrat who in 2012 joined with Republicans to help them take control of the Washington Senate.

Majority Republicans wanted to re-elect Sheldon to the position when suddenly minority Democrats nominated a Republican. And not just any Republican: Senator Pam Roach who’s been a lightning rod over the years.

In the end Roach won.

A.J. Balukoff / http://www.ajforidaho.com/

Balukoff began the hour-and-a-half back-and-forth by introducing himself as a successful businessman and longtime Boise school trustee. Otter touted his administration’s fiscal responsibility, and Bujak attempted to paint himself as an alternative candidate who would change the way Idaho government works.

By the end of the forum, the three had touched on Idaho’s economy, school funding, the state of its roads and bridges, a prison scandal, and more.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

This November’s election will decide who controls the Washington state Senate. Democrats are desperate to win back the majority while a mostly-Republican coalition, that took power last year, is determined to hold on.

In the meantime, big money interests on both sides are trying to influence the outcome. They’re pouring unlimited contributions into political action committees controlled by the legislative caucuses.

Targeting a 'maverick' senator

A group of Oregon voters brought together to consider the pros and cons of a Top Two primary system have issued their recommendation: They're against it. That puts them in the same camp as both major political parties in Oregon. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

Clint Didier campaign

Washington’s August primary appears to have delivered an historic first. Two Republicans are likely to advance to the November election in central Washington’s Fourth Congressional District. Never before has the state’s top-two primary produced two contenders of the same party for a Congressional seat. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon voters might have the chance to overhaul the state's primary voting system this fall. Sponsors of an initiative to create a so-called "Top Two" primary turned in six cases of signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office Monday. The measure would let people vote in primaries even if they don't belong to a major political party. The top two vote-getters would advance to the general election, regardless of party. Chief petitioner Jim Kelly says it will give more Oregonians a part in the process.

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia

Two polls released nearly back-to-back this week paint dramatically different pictures of the Oregon Senate race. One shows challenger Monica Wehby in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Jeff Merkley. The other shows Merkley with a double-digit lead.

Tea Party Candidates Claim Victories In North Idaho

May 22, 2014

Republican incumbents in Idaho are celebrating major victories over Tea Party candidates this week. Gov. Butch Otter and Congressman Mike Simpson both prevailed against challenges to their conservative credentials. But it was a very different story in one part of the state. Jessica Robinson reports from Kootenai County in north Idaho.

Mary Souza had reason to celebrate on her Wednesday online talk show.

Radio show opener: “Jump aboard the Common Sense Express”

Magnus Manske / Wikimedia

It’s a mid-term election year. Even so, some 300 candidates are vying for 162 local, state and federal positions in Washington state alone. So who are these would-be officeholders and what kind of troubles may they have had in the past? Formal background checks for candidates are not a part of the typical vetting process. But a former candidate wants to change that.

Photo courtesy Oregon House Republicans.

The race for the right to take on incumbent US Senator Jeff Merkley is heating up in Oregon. And if you were a screenwriter working on a movie about either of his potential challengers in the upcoming Republican primary, you’d have no shortage of material. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

New Poll Has Mixed Results For Merkley

May 6, 2014
Medill DC / Wikimedia

A new public radio poll shows that incumbent U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley may be more vulnerable than previously thought. The survey commissioned by Oregon Public Broadcasting found that heading into this year's election, less than half of voters have a favorable opinion of the first-term Democrat.

Cacophany / Wikimedia

Republican strategists are eyeing state legislatures this year in hopes of taking more control of the legislative process. But political analysts don't expect major changes in northwest statehouses.

The political divide is already on display in the Washington state capitol as lawmakers convened for their 60-day election year session.

Austin Jenkins

Washington lawmakers convene Monday for what could prove to be the most partisan session in a decade. Control of the Washington Senate is up for grabs this fall. Currently, a coalition of 24 Republicans and two breakaway Democrats hold a three seat advantage. Democrats think they have shot at winning back the majority in November. Both sides will be looking for political advantage over the next 60 days.

Washington initiative promoter Tim Eyman kicked off the New Year with a new ballot proposal.

Kitzhaber Kicks Off Bid For Record Fourth Term

Dec 9, 2013
Michael Clapp

No governor of Oregon has ever served four terms. John Kitzhaber says he wants to be the first. The Democrat kicked his campaign Monday pledging to make progress on health care, the environment and the economy.

Kitzhaber Expected To Announce Re-Election Bid

Dec 9, 2013
Media Advisory For Planning Purposes

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is expected to announce a re-election bid Monday. The Democrat has scheduled an announcement Monday morning at a Portland elementary school where he says he'll discuss his plans for the coming year.

U.S. Senate

Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley Wednesday signed on to legislation to allow people to keep their current insurance plans under the new federal health care law. It's the latest example of how the Affordable Care Act could be a hot topic in next year’s election.

Duane Rasmussen

A group in north Idaho says they’re tired of the Democrat versus Republican national drama. For the last few years, Republicans have been trying to make local races more partisan. Now, a group called Balance North Idaho is fighting back. Its slate of candidates won big in Tuesday’s election.

Results of a ballot measure in Tuesday’s election in Washington to require labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients will reverberate throughout the nation’s food industry.

Oregon's only Republican member of Congress will face a challenger from his own party in next spring’s primary. 

There’s a county council election taking place in the far Northwest corner of Washington state that could play a major role in the future of the U.S. coal industry.

Whatcom County could one day be the home of the largest coal export facility on the west coast – which would transfer coal from trains onto ships bound for Asia.

The Whatcom County council could cast the deciding votes in the permitting of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.   

That’s put this election in the spotlight.

Washington Secretary of State

Washington’s fall voters’ guide may be 20 pages longer and cost nearly $250,000 more to publish. That’s because of a voter-approved requirement that all tax hikes appear on the ballot for an advisory vote. This year there will be five of these non-binding ballot measures.

Garry Knight / Flickr

Oregon lawmakers want to tighten the rules for getting initiative petitions on the ballot. The Oregon House Friday approved a measure that would extend signature gathering laws to more groups involved in the process. But opponents say the legislation could unfairly affect people trying to get measures on the ballot.

Eugene Voters Soundly Defeat City Fee Ballot Measure

May 22, 2013

Eugene voters soundly defeated a ballot measure that would have imposed a monthly fee on residents to help pay for public safety and social services. KLCC’s Angela Kellner reports.

SALEM, Ore. - State elections officials in Oregon would use DMV data to automatically register people to vote under a plan presented in Salem Wednesday. Supporters of the idea say it could give Oregon one of the broadest voter registration pools in the country.

In 2012, about 25 percent of those eligible to vote in Oregon did not register. That’s despite the fact that people can register at the DMV, online, or through the mail. Oregon’s Democratic Secretary of State Kate Brown wants to go even further than these existing systems.

Idaho's former U.S. Senator Larry Craig heads back to federal court on Wednesday in a case related to his 2007 arrest for disorderly conduct in an airport men's room. This time, the question is over Craig's use of $200,000 in campaign funds to pay his legal bills. 

The Federal Election Commission says campaign contributions are only supposed to be used on ordinary expenses incurred on the job. And the FEC says Craig's arrest by an undercover cop who accused the senator of soliciting sex in a bathroom counts as personal.

KLCC

Lane County residents will vote this May on a property tax measure to fund jail beds. The Board of Commissioners Tuesday decided to put a five year public safety levy on the ballot. It was a 4 to 1 vote.

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