SALEM -- Republican voters chose Dr. Monica Wehby of Portland over state Rep. Jason Conger of Bend for the upcoming race against Democrat Jeff Merkley.
In a speech to supporters after her primary win, Wehby thanked voters for being able to see beyond negative news stories of the past week.
There have been a lot of vicious ugly personal attacks, Wehby said. Lord knows I am not perfect. I am like a lot of other Oregonians.
I am a working mom...I try my best, but in life we all make mistakes. And when I do I'm no different than the rest of you, I pick myself back up and I try to make things better. I promise you I'll do that as your senator.
But I do have a message for those national Democrats who were willing to shred my family for their own political gain: People are tired of your dirty tricks.
Wehby told cheering supporters: We all know that the best way to defeat a bully is to stand up to him, and that is exactly what we are going to do.Tonight we are sending a message that this senate race will not be decided by the kind of politics that people in this country are so tired of.
[Above: Monica Wehby addresses supporters at her campaign headquarters in Oregon City, Ore.]
After saying that incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley had voted with President Obama 95% of the time, Wehby said 'Oregonians don't agree with anyone 95% of the time' and left supporters with this call to action: Keep your doctor, change your Senator.
Wehby had the backing of the Washington establishment and much of the money in the race. Her opponent, Jason Conger, was supported by social conservatives and many of the Republicans in the state Legislature.
Wehby got off to a strong start but stumbled in the final week of the campaign after reports came to light that detailed alleged conflicts between the candidate and her ex-husband and a former boyfriend. Wehby had police called on her on two separate occasions for allegedly harassing her former husband and ex-boyfriend. No charges came from the claims.
The reports may have affected some voters' decisions, but likely came too late to shift the outcome.
Three other candidates were also in the race, Mark Callahan, Tim Crawley and Joe Rae Perkins.