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Democrat Marsh wins House seat in Dist. 5

Democrat Pam Marsh had a strong lead Tuesday night over Steven Richie in the race to become state representative in House District 5, which covers southern Jackson County except for Medford.

Preliminary election results showed Marsh with 62 percent of the vote, or 20,252 votes, compared to 37 percent, or 12,082 votes, for Richie.

"They look very promising — which is wonderful," Marsh said of the early figures. "It's very validating. I do feel confident. Clearly, we want to see the final results."

Marsh, 61, was endorsed by the Democrat and Working Families parties, while Richie, 52, is a Republican.

The winner of the race will succeed Rep. Peter Buckley, a Democrat from Ashland, who retired from the Legislature.

Marsh said she wants to work on issues voters raised during the campaign, including poverty, child care for preschoolers, education and investment in transportation.

"I'll be working on issues that are fundamental to families and communities," she said.

An Ashland City Council member with extensive political experience in Ashland and California, Marsh is co-owner of an inn and is also executive director of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

During her campaign, she named education from birth through college or post-high school training as a top priority, followed by renewable energy.

Richie is a fire sprinkler system designer who served as a caucus staff member in the Oregon and Washington legislatures in the 1990s.

He wanted to limit the size of state government and reduce taxes on Oregon families and property owners. He said legislators should fund education first during the budgeting process and rein in public employee retirement costs.

Richie could not be immediately reached for comment.

— Reach staff reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

Pam Marsh