REDMOND, OR -- One local race remains so tight, the losing candidate refuses to concede.
In House District 53, Democrat Emerson Levy remains ahead of Republican Michael Sipe by a margin of 412 votes. Sipe said in a blog post last week he would not yet concede, and that Levy’s victory declaration was premature.
OSU-Cascades Political Science Professor Judy Stiegler says last year’s redistricting shifted the political dynamic, “I think you have to look at part of who the district is now taking up. But, even if you look at Redmond, and the numbers in Redmond, those numbers are changing. And a lot of that has to do with just the lay of the land of Central Oregon now, or in particular Bend/Redmond.”
Stiegler believes political affiliations in Redmond are changing, “You also have a growing non-affiliated group of voters. They now outnumber both D’s and R’s in the state. But, also I think you have a growing number of younger people that are starting to become more involved and saying, ‘ok, we have to pay attention.’”
District 53 now also includes Eagle Crest and Sisters, but lost Sunriver.