Independent Party caps off historic gains in voter rolls with historic election night.
The Independent Party of Oregon capped off 2 years of unprecedented growth -- registering more than 41,000 new members in 22 months -- with the most successful election in state history for a minor political party.
The Independent Party became the first minor political party in Oregon since 1887 to have its cross-nominated candidates win statewide office. The party's statewide cross-nominees were Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate and Ben Westlund for State Treasurer, both of whom vigorously sought the Independent Party's nomination (in addition to their Democratic Party nominations). The last statewide officeholder to win the cross-nomination of a minor political party was Sylvester Pennoyer, who was elected Governor after receiving the nominations of the Democratic Party and the People's Party.
Kate Brown, the new Secretary of State, also sought and received the endorsement of the Independent Party of Oregon.
Joel Haugen, the Independent Party's nominee for U.S. House of Representatives in Oregon's 1st Congressional District, received 18% of the vote, one of the strongest showings for a minor party candidate seeking congressional office in Oregon history.
State Representative Vicki Berger (House District 20), a Republican who was cross-nominated by the Independent Party, was one of the few Republicans in a targeted race to retain her seat.
IPO candidates also fared amazingly well when facing major party candidates one-on-one. Pete Belcastro (I) collected 39% of the vote against Peter Buckley (D) in House District 5 (Jacksonville-Ashland). Terry Rilling (I) received 39% of the vote against Chuck Riley (D) in House District 29 (Hillsboro-Forest Grove). Keith Wangle (I) earned 29% of the vote against Dennis Richardson (R) in House District 4 (Grants Pass-Central Point). Both Buckley and Richardson are in prominent party leadership positions in the Legislature.