As the early election results trickled in Tuesday night, a narrow victory for James Rick Rose in the District 32 State Representative race seemed possible.
Shortly after 8 p.m., the first numbers that rolled across the TV screen showed Rose — who challenged incumbent Deborah Boone — at 51 percent and Boone at 49 percent.
Applause and jubilation swept through Warrenton’s Uptown Cafe, where Rose, his campaign advisers and his supporters had congregated.
The euphoria did not last long, however.
The next results at 9:30 p.m. had Rose at 39 percent, Boone at 61 percent. A perplexed silence fell upon the crowd of approximately two dozen. After a while, they slowly started to leave.
In the end, those percentages held; Boone prevailed. She took in 13,029 district votes to Rose’s 8,454 votes, according to the Associated Press.
Boone, D-Cannon Beach, has served as the District 32 representative since Aug. 4, 2004. She ran on a platform to finish what she started.
During her next term, Boone said she wants to help implement the recommendations of the Oregon Resilience Plan. This is a statewide plan to prepare for a disaster, most notably a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami.
Boone said she is relieved that the election is over.
“Now it’s time to continue my work for people in this district, which I’ve never really stopped doing.”
She said that Rose’s “negative campaigning,” which involved “personal attacks” on her voting record, worked against him, especially since he didn’t make it clear what he would do instead, she said.
Boone, 63, was originally appointed to the House to finish the term of Elaine Hopson, who had resigned. She was elected by popular vote in November 2004 and won re-election in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
She is the vice chair of the House Interim Committee on Energy and the Environment and a member of the House Interim Committee on Veteran’s Services and Energy Preparedness. She and her husband own a construction company.
Rose, 44, a Republican from Warrenton, ran on the mantra, “We can do better.”
Born in Ohio and raised in Texas, Rose said he wanted to lower taxes, reduce regulation and cut wasteful spending.
Though disappointed in the election’s outcome, Rose reflected bittersweetly on his campaign experience.
“Man, what an honor just to (be able to) run, just to have people listen and be able to share ideas,” he said. “Hopefully, through all this, people felt like their voices were heard, on both sides.”
“I don’t know what else he could have done,” Rose’s mother, Twila Rose, of Lubbock, Texas, said. “It was a great campaign.”
Rose, who defeated Louis DeMartino in the Republican primary, said he does not believe he ran a negative campaign, though he publicly criticized both Boone’s voting record and her campaign financing.
He repeatedly censured Boone for voting to increase taxes while the Great Recession devastated Oregon’s working families and then not trying to repeal those taxes as the economy improved.
Boone may have won, but Rose, who owns Rose’s Adult Foster Care and operates it out of his home, still believes that “we deserve better than we’re getting now (in District 32),” he said. “Whether you’re Democrat or a Republican, I think we all deserve better. I don’t know anybody that wouldn’t agree with that statement.”