Support in Clatsop County enabled incumbent Democrat Elaine Hopson to hold onto District 32 in the Oregon House of Representatives against Republican challenger Joe Meyer, according to preliminary election results.
District 32 is composed of Clatsop County south of Warrenton, Tillamook County and parts of Columbia and Washington counties.
In Clatsop County, Hopson took the lead with 4,030 votes (52 percent), while Meyer had 3,070 votes (40 percent). More than 500 people who cast ballots in Clatsop County did not vote for either candidate, but Hopson's margin of victory cushioned the impact of losses in other counties.
In Tillamook County, voters placed Meyer in the lead with 4,318 votes (51 percent) to Hopson's 4,189 votes (49 percent). The challenger also prevailed in Washington County, with 1,583 votes counting for 55 percent. Columbia County results were not available.
"I'm looking forward to continuing to serve the people of District 32," Hopson said. "The challenges are certainly there, and we will find solutions for Oregon in general, and our district in particular."
Budget woes and school funding were among chief concerns of both candidates during the campaign. They also deliberated about the fishing industry, natural resources and land-use laws.
Both candidates live in Tillamook.
Meyer, 49, principal of an investment and savings firm, stressed a need to keep a check on land-use laws and emphasized small business owners and their employees.
Hopson, 63, a former Tillamook school superintendent, said the key to economic health is education and stable funding for it.
In the campaign, she pointed to a positive working relationship with fellow state representatives and senators on both sides of the legislative aisle.