On Election Day 2020, pro-life voters in Oregon made their voices heard by handing wins to Cliff Bentz in the Second Congressional District, Boomer Wright in House District 9, Suzanne Weber in House District 32 and Danielle Bethell to the Marion County Commission, position 3, among others.
“I’ve worked in politics for more than three decades and have never seen a year like this,” says Lois Anderson, ORTL executive director. “We endorsed 86 candidates, many in extremely challenging races, with one in almost every legislative district in the state. We are proud of their dedication and perseverance.”
Not every race was over on November 3. More races were called in the following week, bringing the tally of wins up to 47 endorsed candidates.
While the pro-abortion lobby retains supermajorities in both branches of the Oregon Legislature, they were not successful in their efforts to become quorum-proof (meaning they wouldn’t need anyone from the pro-life caucus on the floor to pass legislation). In fact, the pro-life caucus grew by two seats in the Oregon House!
Boomer Wright (HD 9) spent 31 years as an educator. Suzanne Weber (HD 32) is the mayor of Tillamook. Both defeated pro-abortion opponents in open seats and will be much-needed pro-life advocates in the House for the 2021 legislative session.
Also joining them in the Oregon Legislature as new state representatives are three pro-life women: Lily Morgan (HD 3), Jami Cate (HD 17) and Bobby Levy (HD 58).
Senator Tim Knopp (SD 27) has been an advocate for the vulnerable from the beginning of his legislative career. He was challenged by a well-funded pro-abortion opponent. Thankfully, he was successful in retaining his seat.
Unfortunately, Senator Denyc Boles (SD 10) lost the election by 576 votes (as of press time) after a brutal race. ORTL PAC worked hard to help chase down every last pro-life ballot that lacked a signature or needed another correction to be counted. The same went for former state Rep. Jeff Helfrich, who was running to win back HD 52. Both were excellent pro-life advocates and will be sorely missed in the Oregon Legislature.
Arenas that were hugely fruitful for the pro-life movement were local county commissions. In the 2020 primary, voters flipped both the Clatsop and Yamhill commissions to be a pro-life majority. In the general election, voters solidified the pro-life majorities on the Marion, Josephine and Jackson commissions. They also flipped the Clackamas commission to a pro-life majority.
“We’re headed quickly towards a long legislative session in 2021 that is bound to be brutal,” continues Anderson. “We’re so grateful to be headed back, hand in hand, with so many dedicated advocates in the House and Senate, plus all of our faithful advocates.”