PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon has supported a Democrat for president in every election since 1988, so there is not much attention given to the state from the national campaigns. But the local elections — and particularly the Oregon legislature — are a different story.
After the Republican lawmakers walked out of the Oregon legislative session for 2 straight years, Democrats are trying to gain seats so they could get measures through by having enough members present on the floor even without their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
If Democrats pick up 2 seats in the Oregon House and the Senate they would have enough lawmakers on the floor to be able to pass bills even if the Republicans were a no-show.
The GOP is trying to win more seats to prevent Democrats from having a super-super majority.
That’s why there are so many ads for 76 legislative races. Campaigns hope that even if you don’t know what district you’re in, you will recognize a name when you vote.
“The 60% majority is really important because the Constitution of Oregon requires 60% of each House needed to pass legislation related to taxes,” Reed College Political Science Professor Chris Koski said. If the Democrats gain seats, they would be “able to engage in tax policy making that didn’t require Republican agreement.”
Some of the controversial measures this session affected by the walkout were climate change and gun control legislation, which are also national issues. And that’s why, in part, national money is coming in to fuel these candidates ads well.
“National groups are often interested in making it so states pass public policies that can potentially can serve as vehicles as national policies or groundswell of support eventually for national policies,” Koski said. “So we’re kind of important.”