Secretary of state race close; backhoe issue grabs attention

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A former state senator swept to a surprise victory in the Republican primary for a congressional seat in Oregon’s 2nd District. But the most curious election issue in Oregon involved a backhoe. Meanwhile, the race for the Democratic nomination to be Oregon secretary of state — the second-highest statewide office — remained too close to call more than 16 hours after polls closed. Sens. Shemia Fagan and Mark Hass were within less than half a percentage point of each other. Voters in Baker City decided to sell the quarter-century-old backhoe, with 92% in favor and 8% opposed in the eastern Oregon town.