Democratic state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici and Republican Rob Cornilles easily won their respective primaries for the special House election to replace former Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) on Tuesday night.
The general election between Bonamici and Cornilles for Oregon’s 1st district will take place on January 31st, 2012. Redistricting has made this seat slightly less Democratic, but it’s still not very GOP-friendly territory.
Bonamici faced two serious rivals in the eight-person primary: Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and state Rep. Brad Witt. Avakian in particular started out strong and seemed poised to mount a competitive race. But Bonamici soon outpaced him in fundraising and invested heavily in television ads — crucial in a low-turnout, low-profile election.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) congratulated Bonamici in a statement, saying all three candidates ran “great races.”
Cornilles faced four little-known, barely-funded challengers; his primary victory was never in doubt. The businessman challenged Wu in 2010 but lost 55 percent to 42 percent.
Wu resigned earlier this year after a young woman reportedly called his office complaining of an “unwanted sexual encounter.” That scandal followed damaging complaints from staff about Wu’s erratic behavior.