22 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch The Breakdown: Midterm Election Results & the Upcoming Legislative Session By Samantha Siegner Opie, Senior Associate & Jordan Bice, Vice-President - Oxley & Associates, Inc. NOVEMBER 8, 2022 marked election day. While national pollsters and politicos were projecting a wave of Republicans replacing incumbent Democrats, Oregon’s balance of power shifted very little. Democrats will continue to hold the Oregon Governor’s office and both chambers in the state legislature. While Democrats will retain control, they will no longer enjoy supermajorities, which had previously allowed them to pass new taxes without any Republican votes. At the federal level, Republicans will gain a seat in the U.S. House in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District (SE Portland to Bend) with Republican Lori ChavezDeRemer defeating progressive candidate Jamie McLeod Skinner. McLeod Skinner had unseated seven-term incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader during the primary. Former Rep. Andrea Salinas (D) will continue her political career in Washington D.C. after defeating Republican Mike Erickson in the race for Oregon’s new 6th Congressional District seat. The U.S. Senate will remain in the hands of the Democratic Party, and Republicans will now hold one of the slimmest U.S. House majorities in history. Roughly 64% of Oregon voters participated in voting during the 2022 General Election, down from 78.5% during the 2020 election cycle. Lower than average turnout could be due to several factors, like the absence of a Presidential election or a sense of despondency driven by an unhappiness with the direction of the state. Perhaps more likely is the implementation of Oregon’s Motor Voter law that was passed in 2016. Now, individuals who obtain or renew their driver’s license permit or identification card are automatically registered to vote. So, while the number of eligible voters has increased over time, these individuals may have less interest to participate in Oregon’s election process than those who register voluntarily. All eyes were on the hotly contested gubernatorial race that saw a record $67 million in spending among the three leading candidates, Tina Kotek (D), Christine Drazan (R), and Betsy Johnson (unaffiliated). Former House Speaker Tina Kotek was elected to serve as Oregon’s next governor, defeating Christine Drazan by roughly 3.5% or 66,600 votes. Trailing far behind was Betsy Johnson who has received 8.6% or roughly 164,000 votes. There has been a lot of speculation as to what Johnson’s impact was on the race, but a recent analysis by DHM Research showed that in counties won by Drazan, Johnson saw roughly 10% of the vote, and in counties won by Kotek, she received 8% of the vote. Going into the 2023 Oregon legislative session, OTA is hopeful that a businessfriendly and common-sense approach can be brought to policy discussions regarding our most important issues. We expect robust discussion about fuel, the efficacy of our state agencies, workforce issues, and transportation infrastructure, including the Interstate-5 bridge replacement project. We maintain the position that adding further burden on the compounding cost of doing business or the capacity issues we experience every day on the highway would not be in the best interest of Oregonians. The legislative session will commence January 17, 2023 and conclude no later than June 25, 2023.