Bates win gives Democrats control of Ore. Senate

GRANTS PASS — Final unofficial votes Monday gave Democratic state Sen. Alan Bates the win in his cliffhanger race and Democrats narrow control of the Oregon state Senate.

Results posted by Jackson County gave Bates 24,546 votes, or 50.22 percent of the total, to Republican Dave Dotterrer's 24,272 votes, or 49.66 percent. That is a margin of just 274 votes, or 0.66 percent, but not close enough for an automatic recount.

Clackamas County's final unofficial results showed Republican Alan Olsen the winner with 23,044 votes, or 50.17 percent, to 22,817 votes, or 49.67 percent for Democratic Sen. Martha Schrader. The margin was 227.

As long as the results hold up when they are certified by the Secretary of State next month, those results give Democrats a 16-14 majority, shoring up their decision last week to give Bates the post of deputy majority leader.

Dotterrer said he would not concede until results are certified in coming weeks, but Bates said there is work to do, with the toughest budget decisions to be made in years.

He said he will be working on the assumption he will be sworn in for the next session.

"I don't want to sound arrogant about it. I suppose there's always a chance something could be found unexpected," Bates, a family practice doctor, said from his office in Medford. "We can't wait until they certify the elections. We've got to get going. We have work to do."

Dotterrer, a retired Marine Corps colonel, said he is waiting for certified results to decide whether to concede or challenge the outcome.

"All options are on the table," he said.

Olsen said he was excited by his victory, and looking forward to working with Democrats on putting people back to work.

"I've been a general contractor most of my life," he said. "Negotiation is a matter of give and take. That' what it's going to take down there. I think without a super-majority (for Democrats), we are going to have a closer working relationship, a little more meeting in the middle, which is where we should have been a long time ago."

Schrader did not immediately return telephone calls for comment.

Olsen said he had not gotten a concession call from her.

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