Democrat David Wu will keep his seat in the U.S. House ofRepresentatives, defeating Republican Goli Ameri by a largemargin.
The race for the first congressional district seat in Oregonheated up suddenly after the Oregonian reported that Wu hadsexually assaulted a woman while he was in college.
Despite the scandal, Wu defeated Ameri by more than 15percentage points.
“It’s an overwhelming victory for Congressman Wu,” said CameronJohnson, Wu’s campaign director while at the Democratic Party ofOregon’s election party last night.
“I think he [Wu] ran a campaign that focused on the issues thatare most important to Oregonians.”
“I’m deeply honored by my continued support from Oregonians,” Wusaid Tuesday night.
Wu had repeatedly apologized for his “inexcusable behavior” andsaid he would accept whatever the voters decided, but continued toinsist that Ameri’s firm support for Bush would not be the rightchoice for the district. He defended his own character, saying thatthe counseling he received after the incident made him into who heis now. He pointed out his principled stand on voting against thePatriot Act and giving President Bush pre-emptive use of force inIraq.
Viewed as a potential steal for the Republicans, thecongressional race had become one of the most visible over the pastfew weeks, with both candidates pouring large sums of money intovicious attack ads.
“It’s a very competitive race demographically, and we alwaysprepare for a tough campaign,” Johnson said.
Wu reiterated his positions in his acceptance speech Tuesdaynight.
“We need to bring our troops home from Iraq safely and soon andOregonians need strong, energetic leadership. I have never beenafraid to challenge the status quo,”
he said. “We can show the world wisdom is not weakness if we arewise we know sometimes we are just as strong when we do not useforce (as) when we do.”
“What Oregonians want is good schools, good jobs, affordablehealth care, safe neighborhoods and a secure nation. I willcontinue to take their concerns from their doorsteps to thedoorsteps of the capital,” Wu said.
Ameri supporter and president of PSU’s College Republicans BrianDanielson said, “I volunteered on the campaign and it was reallyexciting to help make a difference locally. Goli Ameri is livingthe American woman’s dream. She would have best represented theFirst Congressional District.”
Wu will begin his fourth term in the U.S. Congress in January.Primarily representing Columbia, Clatsop, Yamhill and WashingtonCounties, Wu has been a major proponent of education funding inOregon.
The following staffers contributed to this special extendedelection section:
Brett D. Pearce
Patrick Alan Coleman