Most Douglas County residents faced choices between incumbent Republican state legislators and Democratic challengers in this election.

They went with Republicans.

Roseburg and South County voters chose to reelect state Sen. Dallas Heard and state Rep. Gary Leif. North County voters only had a House race to decide on. They chose to reelect state Rep. Cedric Hayden.

Heard defeated Democrat Kat Stone by 69% to 31% throughout the district. He won among Douglas County voters in his district by 72% to 28%.

Leif defeated Democrat Charles Lee across his district by 72% to 28%. He won among Douglas County voters by the same margin.

Hayden defeated Democrat Jerry Samaniego by 68% to 32% across his district while winning among those Douglas County voters in his district by 74% to 26%.

Heard, of Myrtle Creek, owns the landscaping business Emerald Lawns.

Now 35, he was the Senate’s youngest member when he joined it two years ago. He previously served as state representative for House District 2, having first been elected to that position in 2014.

As early returns came in, Heard said he was thankful for the amazing people in his district.

“It’s just an honor to have another opportunity to serve my community for another four years. I’ll do my best to represent them well and represent working class values and our future when it comes to where the state is heading,” Heard said.

Stone is a nurse who campaigned on a platform of forcing timber companies to return to paying severance taxes. She is also a critic and watchdog of county government who has focused on transparency and environmental concerns.

Stone said she felt she did fairly well for a Democrat in a district that typically favors Republicans by about 2-to-1. She said she plans to continue pushing for a severance tax and keeping tabs on government.

“I’m not giving up and I’m not going away. We’re just going to keep working on the next campaign and the next part of educating the community about what went wrong and how to fix it,” she said.

Prior to joining the Legislature, Leif served as a Douglas County commissioner. He was the longtime owner of a Roseburg photography studio.

Following early returns Tuesday evening, Leif said he felt really honored, and he plans to continue serving people from all parties.

“I’m a moderate and I make no bones about telling people that, but the thing I really love about it this time is I’m working for everyone in Southern Oregon. I had so many Democrats who wrote to me and said you’re the only Republican I’ve ever voted for,” he said.

Lee is a Roseburg attorney and longtime member of the Roseburg School Board. He did not do any campaign fundraising, and said he was running because he thought the Democrats should be represented.

Lee could not be reached for comment.

Hayden is a dental surgeon from Fall Creek in rural Lane County who has served in the Legislature since 2015.

Samaniego works on solar installation, design and sales for Energy Design Co. in Eugene and lives in Walterville east of Springfield.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(8) comments

BetsyC

I texted over a thousand voters for Kat Stone, even Republicans who might have otherwise been left out of Dem candidate phone banking and text banking. Kat decided to not just target voters but to contact all voters. Not many responded but those from the Republican list were pretty focused on what she was (Dem) and not what she actually stands for vs what her opponents does. However such party divide blinders is not just limited to Repubs. Pretty sad reflection of our representative form of government. However we might be able to fix it.

With a few changes, we might vote for people who support our views instead of blinding follow party lines. One is to eliminate party primaries in Oregon. Let the two top vote getters in any given race, no matter what or no party, goes to the general election. Other states do it. Better still would be to have STAR or rank choice voting.

All things we can do as a state.

CitizenJoe

Betsy, yes to ranked-choice. But no to the top-two system that so often works to elect candidates that most voters don't want.

melrosereader

Maskless Republicans. While in the past two days Douglas County has had 20 new cases of Covid-19

Mike

I keep sayin, Darwinism will prevail.

CitizenJoe

I think that picture of nearly-all-maskless, indoor, close Republicans qualifies the article to be included in the section of Coronavirus News on the NRT website. Time will tell.

But congratulations to Heard, Leif, et al. You will join an Oregon State Legislature with Democratic supermajorities*, and you will be irrelevant; you can fail to show up for work (as in the past), and it won't matter (except to the constituents who would like a seat at the table), and you can whine in your newsletters about how mean the Democrats are.

*two Senate seats still undetermined at 0830hrs.

S

Couldn't have said it better. GOP Dumb$hits the whole lot of them.

CitizenJoe

And, yet, they keep winning here in Douglas County, 60/40, 70/30. Most disappointing.

mworden

For many years, the majority of voters in Douglas County have chosen Republican candidates. When I was first voting here, we had a good mix of both Dem and GOP representatives. After the economic downturn of 1981, we had a big turnover in the population. Many longtime residents had to move away to find work. At the same time we had a big influx of affluent, out of state urbanites moving here specifically because we were small and mostly white. Realtors made a point of advertising the racial make-up of the county in the attempts to lure people to move here. It's no surprise to me that a number of people with far right leanings, people who were stressed out from urban life and who had good incomes, decided to our beautiful area. But it changed the political attitudes here. It didn't happen all at once. It started 40 years ago and over time Douglas County began to lean solidly to the right. That's our reality. I try to view it with unprejudiced objectivity. Along with that I continue to hope that we might some day get back to the old way of Dems and GOPs working together, talking and liking each other. Pretty sure that won't be this year, either here or nationally. But maybe some day.

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