Senate District 10 candidate Deb Patterson. (Courtesy/Deb Patterson)

Democrat Deb Patterson of Salem has prevailed in defeating state Sen. Denyc Boles, R-Salem.

The race had been too close to call since election night. Despite an initial lead, Patterson held off declaring victory until all ballots, including those with signature issues, had been counted.

But after the most recent counts from the election offices in Marion and Polk County Wednesday, Patterson declared victory with 37,725 votes to Boles’ 37,149. Libertarian candidate Taylor Rickey had 2,775 votes.

“Today, I am grateful for the responsibility that the voters of this Senate district have given me and other elected officials, and I look forward to working with them for an Oregon that leaves no one behind,” said Patterson in a statement claiming victory.

She thanked Boles for her service and pledged to ensure Oregonians have access to “affordable healthcare, a good job, a stable home, and a quality education.”

Boles took to Facebook with a statement conceding the race and wishing Patterson the best.  “As a community we need to help her, voice our supports and concerns, and look out for one another,” she said. “I know we will.”

The race for the Senate seat, which includes south Salem and outlying areas, was one of the most competitive and expensive races for the chamber this year. The seat was previously held by moderate Republican Jackie Winters. Boles, a former state representative who works in community relations for Salem Health, was appointed to the seat after Winters died in 2019. 

The victory by Patterson, a congregational minister who previously oversaw health care nonprofits, means that Democrats will keep their commanding 18-12 majority in the Senate. Republican Tim Knopp kept his Senate seat in the Bend area. Democrat Melissa Cribbins lost to Republican Dick Anderson in a south coast Senate district left open by retiring Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay.

Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.

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