Voters return Hooley for a sixth term
All seven counties in the 5th Congessional District support incumbent
Voters have given Democrat Darlene Hooley a sixth term to serve in the House of Representatives from Oregon's Fifth District.
In the closest Congressional race in Oregon, Hooley held a 29,299 vote lead over her opponent, Republican Mike Erickson in the seven-county district as of Friday morning.
Various polls leading up to the election differed on Hooley's lead - predicting from between eight and 20 points - making it one of the more unpredictable races in the state.
'It's about what I expected and I'm very pleased and thrilled that voters had confidence in re-electing me,' Hooley said.
Hooley and Erickson battled for months over the airwaves and dumped large amounts of money into their respective campaigns.
'It was certainly the most expensive campaign I've been in and definitely the most negative,' Hooley, a West Linn resident, said.
Erickson, a successful Lake Oswego businessman who was not widely known prior to the election, attacked Hooley's voting record and her support of troops serving overseas but Hooley feels that those advertisements may have actually helped her in the long run.
'I think there was some backlash. I don't think people in Oregon really appreciate that kind of campaign,' Hooley said.
Hooley led Erickson in each of the seven counties she represents.
'I'm very encouraged. I love this district and I'm excited to go back and represent it in Washington D.C.,' she said.
For her upcoming term, Hooley highlighted a number of key issues that she hopes to tackle, including reducing the cost of interest rates on college loans, working with Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, raising the national minimum wage, taking care of veterans and establishing an open and honest dialog about the war in Iraq.
'It is really important to restore stability (in the House) and bi-partisanship. I want to restore faith in the government for voters and I really think we can do that,' Hooley said.
Calls to Erickson were not returned.