OR-Sen: Jeff Merkley The Projected Winner
by Todd Beeton, Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:39:53 PM EST
Democrat Jeff Merkley has ousted Republican Gordon Smith from his U.S. Senate seat, The Oregonian projects.
Merkley, a five-term state lawmaker and former Habitat for Humanity director, took advantage of a surge of Democratic support to win a close, bitterly fought battle with Smith, who has served 12 years in Washington.
Neither candidate, however was willing to rule the race over until more votes are tallied.
"More good news," said Matt Canter, spokesman for Merkley, "but we'll just continue to watch the ballots come in and wait to claim victory."
Smith's campaign argued vigorously that the race isn't over. The projection is based on a mathematical analysis of the remaining 340,000 votes still being counted out of a total 1.8 million vote cast statewide.
Congratulations, Senator-elect Merkley! A worthy victor and a great addition to President-elect Obama's majority. (Saying "President-elect Obama never gets old, does it?)