High Stakes Election For Possible Oregon House Speakers

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SALEM, Ore. – Democrats and Republicans in Oregon are locked in a fierce battle for control of the Oregon House. It's currently split right down the middle. Some of the biggest legislative money-raisers this year are two candidates who don't have serious opposition on the ballot.

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Republican Bruce Hanna and Democrat Tina Kotek are in contention to be the next Oregon House speaker. Photos via Oregon Legislature hide caption

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Republican Bruce Hanna and Democrat Tina Kotek have fairly easy paths to re-election. Yet between the two of them, they've raised more than $1 million, largely from special interest groups. That's because Kotek of Portland is the presumed Speaker of the House if Democrats take control. And current House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna of Roseburg would likely hold the gavel by himself if the GOP wins the majority.

Both Kotek and Hanna have turned their money into ads in competitive House races for two candidates locked in a close contest for a suburban Portland seat. It's one of about a dozen battleground districts that could decide the balance of power in the Oregon House.

But if even one race is too close to call on election night, it could be days before it’s clear who will control the chamber in the next legislative session.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network



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