Interim Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Winston, will keep his state Senate seat. In unofficial final results released Wednesday night by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, the Republican senator defeated Democratic challenger Shannon Souza of Coos Bay by 64.3 percent to 35.5 percent.
Heard, 33, is the youngest member of the Senate and was the representative for House District 2 until a few months ago, when he was appointed to the seat vacated by former senator Jeff Kruse.
“It went the way I hoped it would,” he said after the results came in Tuesday.
“I just think it shows the people of Southwest Oregon, they have their values that are similar to mine, and they want to see us start making a change in the state, and so they’re going to continue to invest in the people that represent their viewpoint,” he said.
Heard said he was disappointed the Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler didn’t pull off a win, but he said he wasn’t too surprised given the amount of animosity in the state toward President Trump.
He said he feels blessed to have won his race, and he hopes to help move the state in what he believes is the right direction going forward. He plans to seek seats on the Senate Health Care and Judiciary Committees, and said he plans to continue working on a proposed Allied Health College for Roseburg, funding for an emergency room in Brookings, and a program to provide Curry County women in labor free emergency transportation to Coos Bay, where they can have their babies delivered.
Souza runs a solar energy and environmental consulting business on the Southwestern Oregon Coast and ran on a vision of creating green energy jobs and investing in early childhood education. She could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
Senate District 1 covers Roseburg, South Douglas County, Curry County part of Coos County, and small rural slivers of Jackson and Josephine counties. Heard’s showing was stronger in Douglas County than along the coastal part of the district. He garnered nearly 68 percent of the Douglas County vote, compared with Souza’s 32 percent. Heard also won in Coos and Curry counties, but with a smaller margin of victory — 62 to 38 percent in Coos, and 57 to 43 percent in Curry.