Incumbent Greg Barreto will keep his seat as State Representative for District 58.
In Tuesday night’s race, Barreto’s unofficial results were approximately 19,000 votes against his challenger, Independent Skye Farnam, who received approximately 6,000 votes in Union, Wallowa and Umatlla counties.
Even with the win, Barreto said the Republican Party is now a super minority in the House, which will make it more challenging to pass legislation on conservative platforms.
“We lost three of our incumbent seats,” Barreto told The Observer Tuesday night. “We’re now the super minority. How does that change my job? It doesn’t change it a whole lot. We were already in the minority status.”
Barreto, who also noted Democratic incumbent Kate Brown beat out Republican challenger Knute Buehler for governor, said he expects Democrats will raise taxes at their leisure.
“The constituent work I do helping in the district won’t change,” he said. “Putting out bills for rural counties won’t change. However, the people in Oregon, as well as businesses in Oregon, will likely see their taxes go up. It will get tougher for businesses in Oregon.”
Barreto will be entering into his third term as representative.
He added recruiting representatives will be tougher because of this shift, but he is confident that in two years things will shift a bit closer to his party’s platform.
“It truly is an honor to run for this position,” he said. “It would be much more enjoyable if we were in the majority. You play the hand you’re dealt, though, and do the best you can with it. The pendulum always swings back and forth. With where we’re headed in the next couple of years, you’ll see it swing back. I think we can pull out of the super minority status. We’ll see. I’m still glad to do the job.”
In a previous Observer article, Barreto said his more than 35 years in business makes him a good representative.
“Working with customers, employees, vendors, sales reps and other business-related folks both here and internationally has given me an ability to work with and through challenging situations,” Barreto said in the article. “These experiences have shown me how to work to pass bipartisan bills that have benefitted House District 58. As I have gotten older and more educated on a lot of different issues in the social realm, I look more objectively than emotionally at issues.”
See more in Wednesday's edition of The Observer.