When I wrote the “Next Week on TOL” post last Friday I mentioned that the schedule might change if news broke. Not too surprisingly that happened this week. During our program today Jeff Merkley claimed victory in Oregon’s senate race against Republican incumbent Gordon Smith. We brought you a bit of the news at the end of today’s show and will bring you a more in-depth discussion on the win, and the impact of it, tomorrow. (We moved our show on dams and salmon to Monday.)
Merkley’s win ousts Senator Gordon Smith from a post that he has held for 12 years. Smith called Merkley to concede this morning, and will address the press this afternoon.
The victory gives Democrats at least 57 votes in the U.S. Senate, with the outcome of three other races still murky. “This is the beginning of a transformational change for America,” Merkley said this morning. Later in the day the senator-elect sat down with Sen. Ron Wyden and Portland Mayor Sam Adams to discuss solutions to Oregon’s economic crisis.
Jeff Merkley will join us tomorrow to answer your questions. What do you think of his win? What should his priorities be? Are you concerned about how he will represent your corner of the state? Or elated that Oregon has turned a darker shade of blue?
- Jeff Merkley, U.S. senator-elect (D)
- Colin Fogarty, editor for the Northwest News Network
- Chris Lehman, reporter for OPB News
Photo credit: Pete Springer
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017