Left sees way to get past Oregon Senate roadblock

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Associated Press

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 21 at 9:03 AM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Environmentalists, gun-control advocates and others on the left have repeatedly been thwarted by Republicans and a conservative Democrat in the Oregon Senate.

But liberal groups are keeping a close eye on this year's legislative races, hoping they'll finally get their ticket to success in the Legislature.

Sen. Betsy Johnson has joined with Republicans on several key votes to deprive advocates of their needed Senate majority. She's a conservative Democrat from Scappoose who's been willing to buck her party and its interest groups.

Sixteen of the Senate's 30 seats are on the ballot this year, and liberals may be able to get their crucial 16th vote if they can win both of the top two races without losing others. Those are for seats now held by Democrat Alan Bates and Republican Betsy Close.

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