Bonamici wins Independent Party primary
November 29, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. – Democrat Suzanne Bonamici won the nomination for the Independent Party of Oregon Tuesday night in a special election primary in the race to replace the congressional seat vacated by David Wu. Read more ...
She got 56 votes while her opponent Republican Rob Cornilles got 31.
Based on election data last compiled in September, turnout fell short of 1 percent. The 1st Congressional District has 13,546 registered Independent Party voters.
"We knew it would be tough for the candidates to turn out the voters for a one-office special election, particularly when voters were required to go to a website, download a ballot, and return it with ID," said party secretary Sal Peralta in a statement.
Party co-chair Linda Williams noted that turnout was 10 times higher for congressional candidates when voters were allowed to vote online.
In the 2010 election, voting during the party's primary was conducted entirely on the Internet. In that election, voters cast ballots in the third, fourth and fifth congressional districts but not in the first or second.
Under Oregon’s relatively new fusion voting law, candidates can have more than one party on the ballot. After her Independent Party win Tuesday, Bonamici will be able to add the Independent Party label, along with her Democratic one, on the Jan. 31, 2012 ballot.
"I welcome the nomination and the support of the Independent Party and their members," Bonamici said in a statement after the votes were counted. "The work I've done to protect consumers and seniors and to support small businesses are priorities Oregonians share no matter what their party affiliation is. We all also know that Congress needs to tighten its belt, but we need to do it in the right way with Oregon values."
While Cornilles lost the IPO’s nomination, he is gaining momentum, according to spokeswoman Mary Anne Ostrom."Today, he received his 20th mayoral endorsement, and it comes from a mayor who is a Democrat. Two-thirds of the mayors in the First District are backing Rob," she said in an email. "Mayors know best the needs of their communities and believe Rob will be their best partner to create jobs."
Bonamici and Cornilles debated for an hour Sunday night on KATU Television. The central topic was the economy and job creation. The debate was co-hosted by the Independent Party of Oregon.
Cornilles said his business experience makes him the candidate that knows how to create jobs. Bonamici said her experience as a state legislator will help her create good policy that will lead to jobs.