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.