Beyer, Barnhart Are Both Winners

Article excerpt

Byline: TIM CHRISTIE The Register-Guard

In a battle of redistricted incumbents, Rep. Phil Barnhart defeated Rep. Al King in Tuesday's Democratic primary for the District 11 House seat.

In District 12, Elizabeth Terry Beyer beat Rick Henson in the Democratic primary to get one step closer to winning a term to the House seat she was appointed to last November. Beyer had 56 percent of the vote to Henson's 44 percent in late returns.

In the District 7 Republican primary, Rep. Jeff Kruse was leading Rep. Cedric Hayden, 53 percent to 47 percent, in a race that pitted two legislative veterans with political bases split along county lines.

And in District 14, Eugene City Councilor Pat Farr had 83 percent of the vote in the Republican House primary over Damon Wilson, who withdrew from the race early on and endorsed Farr.

Barnhart, of south Eugene, and King, of Mohawk Valley, are two incumbents who found themselves facing off when redistricting put them both in District 11, a horseshoe-shaped district that takes in part of south Eugene, wraps around the city of Springfield and pushes north into Linn County. It includes Pleasant Hill, Creswell and Coburg, but not Cottage Grove or Oakridge.

Barnhart was leading King by 64 percent to 36 percent. Barnhart captured a majority of the vote both in Lane and Linn counties.

About 20 percent of voters in District 11 live in Linn County. He said that showed he had support from city and country voters. "The big split between urban and rural voters is gone," he said.

The results show Oregon voters want lawmakers to "solve the problem of Measure 5," a property tax relief measure that took $1 billion out of state budgets, and to figure out a way to pay for education and health care.

King said he was disappointed and said his candidacy was hurt by direct mail "hit pieces" sent by Barnhart's campaign. "I think they made a big difference in the race, and that's not my style," he said. "I'm disappointed but life goes on."

In the November general election, Barnhart will face political newcomer Robert Bolanos of Creswell, who was unopposed in the Republican primary. …