PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With all 87 votes counted, the Independent Party of Oregon has nominated Democrat Suzanne Bonamici in the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. David Wu.
The selection was announced Tuesday night after the party’s two-week online primary wrapped up. Bonamici won with 56 votes to 31 for Republican Rob Cornilles.
Even though fewer than 100 people cast ballots, the party’s primary isn’t meaningless. Bonamici will be listed on the Jan. 31 ballot as the nominee of both the Democratic and Independent parties. In an environment where voters are frustrated with partisanship in Washington, D.C., politicians are often eager to be labeled “independent.”
The district heavily favors Democrats. The Independent Party’s blessing could have helped efforts by Cornilles to downplay his GOP affiliation, focusing on a message that emphasizes independence.