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KTVZ Decision 2022 blog: A last wee-hours update, some top race updates — and thank you!

12:38 AM Wednesday: Wee-hours update, and thanks!

As is customary, Deschutes County updated its election results just after midnight Wednesday. Here's some highlights:

County Commissioner Tony DeBone now leads challenger Oliver Tatom by about 5 percentage points, 52-47%. It's closer for colleague Patti Adair, about 51-49 over challenger Morgan Schmidt.

Bill Kuhn is winning the county treasurer position easily, with 63% to 32% for Trevor Liews and under 5% for Alex Polvi.

In Bend, City Councilor Melanie Kebler appears to have won her mayoral race against Chris Piper, 55-45%, while colleague Barb Campbell has almost 43% in a four-way race for a two-year council seat. Ariel Mendez and Mike Riley have held solid on their better-than-60% victories for council seats.

In Redmond, Councilor Ed Fitch appears poised to return to the mayor position he held before long-time Mayor George Endicott, with over 34% of the four-way vote, followed by Ben Schimmoller and Jay Patrick with about 32% each.

It's late. You can see all the latest results here, across the state and the High Desert. Oh, and please be sure to check our great Decision 2022 Plus state/local races/maps and nationwide congressional Balance of Power races and maps for Congress and governor - lots of numbers and data to check out!

Thanks for reading, and watching!

10:55 PM: Jeff Eager: 'Red tsunami' talk turned out to be a 'red ripple'

KTVZ's Republican political analyst Jeff Eager, asked about the predictions of a "red tsunami," said just before 11 on our Fox newscast that looking at the results, it was more of a "red ripple."

Others may disagree - that happens, a lot.

10:20 PM: Yes equals no? Maybe, for some - the psilocybin votes; Jefferson, Crook County results

When you put a ban or opt-out of a state law on the ballot, sometimes it ends up being a "yes equals no" vote, and that can be darn confusing unless one reads everything closely.

For whatever reasons, Deschutes County voters were turning down an opt-out on psilocybin businesses Tuesday night, with 55% no votes to 45% yes. It was one of several votes sparked by the slow progress toward completing state regulations for the voter-approved treatment.

Elsewhere, it was a different story. Redmond voters were approving a ban on psilocybin product manufacture and a 2-year moratorium on psilocybin service centers.

The Prineville and Crook County votes to bar psilocybin-related businesses were passing by nearly 2-to-1. Jefferson County, Madras, Metolius and Culver did much the same. Also in Jefferson County, the Bowman Museum operating levy was passing 54-46%

In other Jefferson County results, Mike Lepin was besting four other candidates for the Madras mayor seat, while the Madras Aquatic Center local option tax renewal was passing handily, 61-39%. Mark Wunsch was defeating Mae Huston for Jefferson County Commissioner position 1, 60-40%

9:35 PM: Thanks to our great techs, results show now! Levy, Kropf leading state House races

Yay, our great tech helpers (thanks Karl!) have nailed most of our results display issues.

So, in those Oregon House races, District 53 results show Democrat Emerson Levy narrowly leading Republican Michael Sipe, 51-49%, or about 640 votes. In District 54, Democrat incumbent Jason Kropf had a much easier time of it, defeating Republican challenger Judy Trego 64-36%

9:20 PM: Interesting comment by Patti Adair to fellow Republicans

"We are going to win, and we are going to keep sanity in Deschutes County," county Commissioner Patti Adair said to cheers from fellow Republicans, as we heard in Noah Chast's live cut-in from the Deschutes GOP election party at The Riverhouse.

At last report, Adair was leading Democratic challenger Morgan Schmidt by about 1,200 votes out of nearly 69,000 counted.

9 PM: Chavez-DeRemer leads McLeod-Skinner; Kebler leads for Bend mayor; bond measure results

So far, the closely watched Fifth District congressional race has Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer ahead by about 5 percentage points, 52-47%, about 10,000 votes apart.

Bend City Councilor Melanie Kebler appears to be winning the Bend mayor's seat, with 55% to 44% for Chris Piper.

A close three-way race for Redmond mayor, with former mayor and current councilor Ed Fitch leading with 36% of the vote to about 31% for Jay Patrick and Ben Schimmoller very close behind, just under 31%, Charles Webster Baer trails with just over 1%.

The measure to make Deschutes County commissioners is passing handily, 62-38%. And the Bend-La Pine Schools bond measure is passing, 58-42%.

The Redmond Area Park and Rec District's bond measure for a new aquatic facility is failing narrowly, but the five-year operating levy is passing easily, with almost 61% of the vote.

8:45P: Apologies for results issues, link to official page; governor race tightens, M. 114 passing narrowly

We are having some problems with results showing properly online, our apologies, so to make sure you can get there, here is the official secretary of state results page.

The governor's race has tightened as you can see, with over 1 million votes counted, it shows Democrat Tina Kotek ahead by about 1 percentage point or 10,000 votes.

Measure 114, meanwhile, is passing narrowly, 51-49%.

8:23P: The first cut shows close Deschutes County county races, not so close in Bend

Okay, here we go.

At this point, Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone is narrowly defeating challenger Oliver Tatom, 52-48%, while colleague Patti Adair is very narrowly leading challenger Morgan Schmidt, 51-49%.

Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell, who shifted to a two-year race after a colleague's resignation, is well ahead, with 43% of the vote to 28% for Karon Johnson and 13% for Bill Olsen. Mike Riley well ahead with 62% in a three-way race for a council seat and Ariel Mendez has 65% to Sean Sipe's 35%

8:05 PM: Big Kotek lead - or too early to call?
Our top-of-home page first-round count just after the polls closed at 8 p.m. matches secretary of state figures, showing Democrat Tina Kotek well ahead in the closely watched, costliest-ever governor's race, holding just over 50% of the ballots counted so far, to about 40% for Republican Christine Drazan and non-affiliated Betsy Johnson at about 8 1/2% of the 662,603 votes counted.

But just now, NBC News, with only about half the ballots in their early tally that the state shows, just said it was too early to call, showing Kotek barely leading Drazan about about 1,400 votes.

6:20 PM: Not your typical midterm election night

Along with redistricting creating many new congressional and legislative districts that change the political picture around the country in hard-to-predict (or poll) ways, there's other unusual aspects to this particular election night.

It doesn't snow in Bend very often on Election Day. There's also a high-profile murder trial underway, and after two years of COVID-19 restrictions, the return to in-person gatherings comes as flu season, respiratory virus and continued cases of the virus has some people still wearing masks and many still able or preferring to work from home.

There's been a lot of focus on election security, while there's also been frequent advisories that it could take days for final results on many measures and issues around the country. Here in Oregon, that could delay a final result because the state now allows ballots postmarked by Nov. 8 to be counted -- not just those that make it into the clerk's office or drop boxes by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

So we'll see how it goes.

4:30 PM: We’re live on the scene of tonight's party parties, as polls close back East

Hey there, and welcome to a little experiment our sister NPG stations have tried earlier – rather than try to write one voluminous story that covers the easy-to-follow-here Oregon election results but can be hard to arrange/follow (much less keep updated!) as things get tight (or not) or flip-flop (or not), we'll do a good old-fashioned blog.

If you watched our NewsChannel 21 Fox @ 4, you’ve already seen Noah Chast live at The Riverhouse, where the Deschutes Republicans will have their party, our political analysts, Jeff Eager and Judy Stiegler, talking with our Lee Anderson, and Carly Keenan live at the Democrats’ watch party location at Silver Moon Brewing.

Now that polls are closing back East, we’re also starting to see the colors of whose leaning – Republicans red or Democrats blue – in races across the country on our Decision 2022 Plus Balance of Power page, which also shows the governorships. We'll of course be watching the local and state races on this interactive page, once the polls close at 8 p.m.

Oh and we've added a link on how to track your Oregon ballot on the upper-right side list on our Decision 2022 page, along with links to each county's election pages.

By the way, we are sticking with the secretary of state's official results page - we had our own in the works, but in recent years the state site has really got it nailed, and we wanted to make sure what we provide are complete, fast, and easy to track results on every race around the state.

We'll have much more on the air at 5 and 6, along with 5-minute updates during NBC's coverage through the night until our 10 (on Fox) and 11 (on NBC) newscasts with the latest results.

We'll see how the night goes - will there be lots of surprises, some close races and the like? It's more of an "anything's possible" night than many past election nights, from the tight governor's race on down the ballot.

Thanks for joining us!

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Barney Lerten

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