SALEM — Umatilla County voters may have clinched a Tuesday night victory for Nolan Bylenga, 22, a Portland State University senior and Pendleton High School alum running in the Democratic primary race for the House District 58 seat.
As of Wednesday, Bylenga led Barbara Wright of Pendleton with 53.13% of the vote to her 45.17%, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.
Wright, 68, a merchandiser, veterans advocate and former small business owner in Pendleton, was leading the race Tuesday night before Bylenga nearly doubled her vote total in Umatilla County.
Union and Wallowa County voters backed Wright. She won 966 votes or 55.7% to Bylenga’s 769 votes in Union County, and in Wallowa County she prevailed with 305 votes or 51.8% over 262 votes or 44.5% for Bylenga.
By the end of Tuesday night, Bylenga received 1,187 votes in Umatilla County, good for 64.13% of total votes, while Wright received 615 votes or 33.23%.
The winner advances to the November general election to face Republican Bobby Levy of Echo, the lone candidate on the Republican ticket.
Democrats haven’t fielded a candidate in the 58th District primary since 2014, when state Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Cove, won his first term. Barreto declined to seek a fourth term, opening up a seat that covers Union County, Wallowa County and a part of Umatilla County.