The Environment Won this Election

What a great election night! 

Here is a quick update on what we were able to accomplish:

Let’s start with the big win – the Oregon House of Representatives. We have won a pro-conservation majority! Two of our top targeted races, Ben Unger in HD 29 and Joe Gallegos in HD 30, defeated anti-conservation incumbents. We also made pro-conservation gains with the wins of Shemia Fagan (HD 51), Chris Gorsek (HD 49), David Gomberg (HD 10), John Lively (HD 12), and Brent Barton (HD 40).

And while our targeted pro-conservation candidates were winning those races across Oregon, not a single pro-conservation incumbent member of the legislature lost their re-election campaign. Every incumbent who supported protecting clean air, clean water, and protecting Oregon's natural legacy won their race – some having to overcome an onslaught of negative mailers and television ads. I can’t say it enough, we came into this election with the goal of a pro-conservation majority in the Oregon House and we got there – this is a huge win for the environment.

The Senate will maintain its ratio of Democrats and Republicans, but we are adding a pro-conservation voice with the election of Arnie Roblan (SD 5). And like the House, all of our pro-conservation incumbents won their re-election campaigns.

OLCV-endorsed candidates also swept the statewide races. Kate Brown (Secretary of State), Brad Avakian (Labor Commissioner), Ted Wheeler (Treasurer), Ellen Rosenblum (Attorney General) and Richard Baldwin (Supreme Court) all won their races. Joining Governor John Kitzhaber, all of our statewide elected leaders in Oregon have strong pro-conservation credentials. In addition, Measure 84 (Estate Tax Repeal) failed and Measure 85 (Corporate Kicker for K-12) passed.

On the local level, we had some big wins across the state. In Eugene, coming off huge votes on banning single use bags and coal exports in Oregon, Betty Taylor won re-election to the city council. In Lake Oswego, our endorsed candidate Jon Gustafson has been elected to the city council. And our endorsed candidate for Milwaukie City Council, Mark Gamba, also won his race. In Bend, Sally Russell and Doug Knight won their races for Bend City Council – bringing two strong pro-conservation voices to the group. And Alan Unger won re-election to the Deschutes County Commission. On the coast, two new pro-conservation Mayors have been elected – Sandra Roumagoux in Newport and Ron Brean in Yachats. Our two local bond initiatives (Bend Parks and Willamalane Parks) both won.

I also want to make note of the success of the League of Conservation voters on the federal level. 10 of their 12 Dirty Dozen congressional members were defeated this year along with 4 of the Flat Earth Five. Their work also helped lead to the election of 53 Democratic Senators and two independents as well as the re-election of the President. And in the Senate, no U.S. Senator who voted to support and defend the EPA's actions on global warming was defeated, despite millions of dollars of spending by the fossil fuel industries attacking them on it.

Election Day was very good overall for the environment. We have a pro-conservation majority in the Oregon House of Representatives, a conservation advantage in the Senate, a slate of pro-conservation statewide elected officials, and host of local wins across Oregon.

As you celebrate, please keep in mind that our work doesn’t stop with the election of pro-conservation candidates to office. The 2013 Legislative Session starts in January and we have a lot of work in front of us. But because of your help, we have new champions and allies in the Legislature.

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