Democrat Suzanne Bonamici wins Oregon special election

at 11:35 PM ET, 01/31/2012

Former Oregon state senator Suzanne Bonamici (D) won the special election to succeed former congressman David Wu (D-Ore.) on Tuesday, scoring a sizeable victory in the Portland-area 1st district.

Results late Tuesday in the vote-by-mail contest showed Bonamici leading Republican businessman Rob Cornilles 54 percent to 39 percent with 68 percent of precincts reporting. The Associated Press has called the race for Bonamici.
State Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D) won the special congressional election in Oregon on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)

Despite the large margin, Democrats spent heavily on their victory. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $830,000 on ads on Bonamici’s behalf in order to avoid a competitive race. Cornilles gave Wu a tough race in 2010, despite the strong Democratic lean of the district.

The advertising appears to have worked, as Bonamici cruised to victory and should have a safe seat in Congress. Her new district under a congressional redistricting bill passed in the state last year gets only slightly more friendly for Republicans, and it went 61 percent for President Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

Wu resigned in late July after a young woman accused him of an unwanted sexual encounter. Wu’s 2010 reelection campaign was also marker by erratic behavior, to the point where his staff confronted him about it.

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