Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Oregon's longest-tenured congressman faces a second consecutive challenge from a Republican chemist with tea party support in what is expected to be the closest of the state's five U.S. House races.

Tuesday's vote will be Republican Art Robinson's second attempt to unseat Democrat Peter DeFazio. DeFazio represents the timber-dependent 4th Congressional District, often finding himself fending off both environmental advocates and the timber industry. DeFazio was first elected to the U.S. House in 1986.

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By 5:00pm Tuesday, the voter turnout in Oregon had reached 70% for an election set to determine the control of the state House and Senate, the new Portland mayor, a possible private casino and other key races. The earlier numbers Tuesday indicated higher numbers of Republicans were turning in their ballots earlier in numbers released by the Oregon secretary of state's office. Democrats are expected to get a majority in the state.  According to Associated Press exit polling in Oregon, the economy is the top driver for Oregon voters.

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After two years with a tied House of Representatives, Oregon voters could flip control of the chamber to one party in Tuesday's election.

The Senate also is up for grabs.

About a dozen competitive districts, most in the Portland suburbs, will determine which party takes control - if one does. Another tie is possible in the House and Senate.

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Oregon voters have the chance to decide the state's future on marijuana, gambling and commercial fishing, but the odds are stacked against any of those measures passing.

Polling has shown the state unwilling to regulate pot like alcohol.

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Most of the country will know who won major races Tuesday night, but Washington residents may not know for several days who their next governor will be.  Both Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee expect their contest to be decided in the ballots that remain to be counted after election day.

 

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The Astoria City Council celebrated the signing of the last check that pays off the Astoria Aquatic Center two years early.  Monday night Mayor Willis Van Dusen announced that  he held the check for the last payment in his hand and called for the traditional destruction of the mortgage papers which symbolically represents the city facility as free and clear of the $2.93 million dollar debt.

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"Have you seen the mountain of dirt they are moving? It's huge!" Says Columbia Memorial's CEO Eric Thorsen talking with KAST news recently about a project people have been talking about for years. A new athletic facility that when completed by Columbia Memorial Hospital will be owned by the Astoria School District.

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The City Of Astoria is a little cleaner and better kept as the city community development department has been responding to violations of the town's newly approved derelict building ordinance.  

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