SALEM, Ore. — Oregon State Senator Shemia Fagan has won the Democratic primary for Secretary of State following a final tally of votes. Initial results from Tuesday night showed rival Sen. Mark Hass with narrow lead, but Fagan pulled ahead as late votes came in from several counties.
Hass conceded the race on Friday afternoon, saying that he reached out to congratulate Fagan three days after she congratulated him on an apparent win. The Democratic Party of Oregon also released a statement anointing Fagan as the party's nominee.
"Oregon has already set the standard for other states with vote-by-mail and automatic voter registration. With Shemia Fagan as our next Secretary of State, we will continue in this proud tradition of expanding access to the ballot," party chair Carla Hanson said.
“We can all be proud of the voter turnout in this election," Fagan said in a statement. "At a deeply uncertain time, Oregonians made sure their voices were heard – and thanks to our vote-by-mail system, tireless county election officials, and dedicated postal workers, their voices were. We’ve never faced a challenge like the one before us today, and we need leaders ready to take it on and ensure Oregon, and our democracy, emerge from this crisis stronger than before – I’m more than ready for the job.”
Fagan will now face Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher in November. Thatcher won her race handily on Tuesday night and thanked supporters in a statement on Wednesday.
“To those Oregonians who voted for me, thank you!” said Thatcher. “If I wasn’t on your primary ballot, I look forward to earning your vote in the general election.”