Democratic challenger inching ahead of Vial for House District 26 seat
According to early results, Wilsonville resident Courtney Neron has upset incumbent Richard Vial (R-Scholls) for the race to represent House District 26, which includes Wilsonville, Hillsboro, Tigard, Sherwood and other areas, on the Oregon State Legislature.
As of 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Neron had received 51 percent of the vote while Vial had received 47
percent. Prior to release of the early returns Vial expressed confidence of a win, tempering that when it showed Neron ahead with more than 900 votes.
"Of course I'm disappointed I won't have the opportunity to serve if it holds. I think it's an indication of a real discontent among voters with the way our national leadership has conducted our political narrative," said Vial.
Neron had never run for political office before the campaign and was recruited to run by precinct leaders after primary winner Democrat Ryan Spiker withdrew from the race. She is in favor of Metro's (failed/successful) affordable housing bond measure, which would/will use property tax revenue to pay for low income housing, and is a proponent of increasing the state's corporate tax in order to fund education and healthcare.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Neron said "From the very beginning of this short campaign, House District 26 has shown me it is ready to have a representative who will champion quality education, affordable and accessible healthcare, environmental protections and many other policies that will support working families and individuals. I am honored to serve our district in the Oregon House of Representatives and can't wait to get to work."
In his lone term on the legislature, Vial was a chief sponsor of legislation to raise Oregon's legal age for the purchase and use of tobacco and voted to close Oregon's "boyfriend loophole," which prevents domestic abusers from owning firearms.
Vial was against the affordable housing bond measure and is in favor of building a highway that would connect Wilsonville to Hillsboro.
Neron is also against the Oregon Department of Aviation's push to extend the Aurora Airport runway, citing increased noise in areas near the airport like Charbonneau and a lack of adequate transportation infrastructure in place to endure the expansion. Vial supports the extension and said it would improve efficiency.
Both Neron and Vial would like to see improvements along I-5 to quell traffic issues. Vial stated he would like to see the Boone Bridge upgraded to increase its capacity and Neron advocated for an auxiliary lane on I-5 Southbound near Wilsonville.