Monica Wehby wins Republican Senate primary in Oregon

May 21, 2014

Monica Wehby defeated state representative Jason Conger and three other opponents in Tuesday's Republican Senate primary in Oregon.


Dr. Monica Wehby greets supporters at the headquarters in Oregon City, Oregon, after winning the Republican Primary race for Senate on Tuesday, May. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

Reports in local and national news outlets about harassment complaints from her ex-husband and an ex-boyfriend did little to injure her campaign in its last week. Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, had long been the frontrunner in the race, especially after running a series of emotional campaign ads that stressed her medical experience and condemned the Democratic Party's positions on health care.

Wehby finished her victory speech tonight with, "Keep your doctor, change your senator," riffing on the "keep your plan" line that plagued the White House during the Affordable Care Act's rollout.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsed Wehby in early May. Many other senators have donated money to her campaign — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, Susan Collins and Saxby Chambliss — believing she could run a strong race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in a moderate state.

Before the polls closed in the state on Tuesday evening, Merkley's campaign released a statement that said the Republican primary candidates were "deeply flawed" and "support a national Republican agenda that would hurt Oregon." Merkley, who won his first race in 2008 after a boost from the Obama campaign's coattails, has been seen as a more vulnerable candidate given Obama's dampening approval ratings. The Washington Post Election Lab currently gives him a 93 percent chance of winning the race.

Jaime Fuller reports on national politics for "The Fix" and Post Politics. She worked previously as an associate editor at the American Prospect, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C.
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