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Noble beats Moore in bid for state house

via Yamhill Valley Register (edited)

Republican Ron Noble jumped out to a commanding early lead Tuesday in House District 24, which encompasses much of Yamhill county and a portion of Washington County to the north, and a second run of results confirmed victory in the offing.

    With about two-third of the count in, Noble led Democrat Ken Moore 13,130 to 10,894 or 54.65 percent to 45.35 percent. He was running up roughly the same margin in both counties.

    Noble remained cautious to celebrate outright Tuesday evening.

     “We're very happy with the lead,” he said, after seeing early returns. “There's still a few more ballots to count.”

    Moore was defeated even though the Democratic Party diverted a substantial sum from its pro-Measure 97 campaign in an attempt to turn the seat Democratic, potentially giving the party a 60 percent super-majority in the 60-member House. The party currently controls 35 seats, and was pinning its hopes on Moore to provide a 36th.

    The party deployed a barrage of unsubstantiated and misleading attack ads against Noble in the late going. The tactic may have backfired, as many one-time supporters turned on him for launching what they considered an unfounded smear.

    Noble declined to retaliate, sticking to traditional issue-oriented ads and fliers. And he appeared to be on his way to victory, despite being outspent $626,000 to $419,000 in Yamhill County's first million-dollar legislative race.

    The seat has been held by a series of Republicans over the years, the most recent being Jim Weidner, who opted not to seek re-election this year.

    However, Moore ran a strong race against Weidner two years ago, and has been campaigning continuously ever since. That gave Democrats enough to justify a major investment.

    Nearman and Thompson, both from Dallas, raised and spent heavily in their race as well. Nearman was aided by a heavy late infusion from Right to Life.