Sitting solidly in the politically conservative camp, Wallowa County voters supported the Republican Party and conservative causes - with two exceptions - in statewide races Nov. 2.
By more than 2-to-1 margins in the final unofficial totals early Wednesday morning, Wallowa County supported Republican incumbents: the Bush/Cheney ticket for U.S. President and Vice President (69 percent of the vote), Greg Walden for U.S. Representative from the 2nd District (77 percent), David Nelson for state senator (98 percent) and Greg Smith for state representative (98 percent).
The only Democrat to find favor in the county was U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who garnered 56 percent of the vote. Other Republicans who won majorities in the county, but were defeated statewide, were Oregon secretary of state candidate Betsy Close (54 percent), state treasurer candidate Jeff Caton (56 percent) and state attorney general candidate Paul Connolly (50 percent).
Wallowa County voters also strongly supported conservative views on the state's eight ballot measures, again with one exception. County voters rejected Measure 33, which would have expanded the medical marijuana program, by a 68 percent "no" vote. The so-called "50/50 Forest Plan," Measure 34, was trounced by a 78 percent "no" vote.
County voters supported tort reform by supporting Measure 35, the limit on malpractice non-economic damages, with a 63 percent "yes" vote. The so-called "Defense of Marriage Act," Measure 36, was supported by 69 percent of county voters, while the land use/zoning compensation proposal, Measure 37, garnered a 60 percent "yes" vote.
Only on Measure 38, the initiative to abolish the SAIF Corporation - the State Accident Insurance Fund - did the county's voters side with state progressives, rejecting the measure with a 68 percent "no" vote. The state legislature-referred titles, Measures 31 and 32 - the postponement of elections in case of death and moving mobile homes to regular tax rolls, respectively - were both approved by Wallowa County voters.