Salem Democrats lose supermajority; House could go to GOP

Republicans have increased their power the Oregon Legislature by toppling a Democratic supermajority in the House and the Senate.

The results mean Democrats will no longer have the power to raise taxes without Republican support — a significant but not unexpected development in a state that has been divided over tax hikes affecting businesses and the wealthy.

The GOP picked up four House seats held by Democrats, eliminating the three-fifths supermajority that Democrats held in the chamber. As the last few results were trickling in, it appeared possible for Republicans to take over the majority in the House.

In the Senate, Republicans won at least two seats from Democrats, more than enough to pierce the Democratic supermajority but short of the four seats to take control of the chamber.

A number of House and Senate races had razor-thin margins separating the candidates.

Going into election night, sixteen races were considered competitive; 10 of them are controlled by Democrats. Republicans locked up all six of their vulnerable seats.

Democrats used their supermajorities in 2009 to help approve the tax increases that later went to voters as Measures 66 and 67. Both were approved at the ballot box.

— The Associated Press

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