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Sanchez Wins Close Race

Not enough ballots left to change outcome

5/24/2016, 4:06 p.m.
Tawna Sanchez has won an extremely close nominating contest for state representative in House District 43.
Roberta Phillip-Robbins and Tawna Sanchez

Tawna Sanchez, an executive at the Native American Youth and Family Center in northeast Portland, has won an extremely close nominating contest for state representative in House District 43.

Sanchez has what looks like an insurmountable lead of 111 votes over Roberta Phillip-Robbins, an African American who served as a youth and gang violence prevention specialist for Multnomah County, with too few ballots remaining to be counted to make a difference in the Democratic Primary race, according to a Portland Observer analysis of the vote and figures showing the outcome is outside the threshold triggering an automatic recount.

On Monday, the Multnomah County Elections Division reported that Sanchez has 9,322 votes to 9,199 votes for Phillip-Robbins. With just 1,200 ballots left to be counted countywide, and only a fraction of those returns expected to be designated for District 43 which had 8 percent of the countywide vote, there does not appear to enough ballots to change the outcome of the race.

The official certification of the election won’t be made until June 6, elections officials said. Since no Republican filed for the office, Sanchez appears headed to the November General Election unopposed.

In other highlights from the May 17 election, Ted Wheeler has easily won his race for Portland mayor. Bernie Sanders won Oregon’s Democratic Primary.

State Rep. Lew Frederick, the current District 43 office holder and only African-American in the House, won the Democratic nomination for Senate District 22 in north and northeast Portland unopposed. City Commissioner Steve Novick will face a runoff election in November but Amanda Fritz was re-elected as city commissioner outright with almost 70 percent of the vote.

Two ballot measures were decided. Measure 26-174 to support the Oregon Historical Society’s funding passed easily while Measure 26-173 to apply a .10 cent tax per gallon of gas was passed by a much smaller margin.