Biden wins Oregon primary; secretary of state dems race a virtual tie

SALEM, Ore. (AP) —  Former Vice President Joe Biden won Oregon’s Democratic presidential primary, outpacing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who both suspended their campaigns earlier in the year.

President Donald Trump, who was unopposed, won the Oregon GOP presidential contest.

In the Republican Senate primary, Jo Rae Perkins won. Perkins will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Two Democratic state senators were virtually tied in their bid to be their party’s candidate for secretary of state, the second-highest state office in Oregon. Sens. Shemia Fagan and Mark Hass were ahead of Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne, who ran unsuccessfully against Walden in 2018 as the Democratic candidate.

State Sen. Kim Thatcher appeared headed to an easy win to be the GOP candidate for secretary of state.

The mail-in primary was complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, as election workers kept social distancing in county offices while staffing levels were down. Election workers received instructions on handling ballots along with protective equipment from the Oregon National Guard and others.

One local race is garnering national attention. Voters in metropolitan Portland appeared to be approving taxes on personal income and business profits that would raise $2.5 billion over a decade to fight homelessness.

The ballot measure was planned before the pandemic reduced the U.S. economy to tatters. How voters in the liberal city react amid the pandemic will be instructive for other West Coast cities struggling to address burgeoning homeless populations as other sources of revenue dry up.

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