A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

D’s, R’s and Nons: The local numbers

Written October 22nd, 2020 by Hasso Hering

The Benton County ballot drop in the North Albany Shopping Center in early September.

In case it matters, and maybe it does in local politics, Democrats have a slight edge in Albany registrations over Republicans. But both major parties are running behind the number of Albany voters signed up as nonaffiliated.

According to the latest available totals, Albany had 11,973 voters registered as Democrats, 11,635 as Republicans, and 13,186 as nonaffiliated. (You might remember that nonaffiliated in Oregon is not the same as “Independent,” which is an official party and had 1,661 members in Albany.)

The Albany city numbers reported here combine totals from Linn and Benton counties. The Linn numbers were current as of Thursday, while Benton’s registration totals were last updated on Oct. 12. (I got the Linn stats from the county clerk’s office; Benton publishes registration totals online.)

What about the three council wards in the city?

In Ward 1, the Democrats lead with 4,694 registrations, followed by the non-affiliated with 4,279, and the Republicans third with 4,195.

Part of Ward 1 is North Albany, in Benton County, and there the Republican registrations are in the lead with 2,365, followed by the Democrats with 2,244 and the nonaffiliated in third place with 1,780.

In the Linn section of Ward 1, including downtown and the Monteith and Hackleman historic districts, Democrats and non-affiliated voters are virtually tied, 2,450 to 2,499, with Republicans trailing with 1,830.

Ward 2 comprises the south-central part of town plus neighborhoods near LBCC. There, nonaffiliated voters are the most numerous with 4,192, trailed by 2,972 Democrats and 2,838 Republicans.

The nonaffiliated also lead in Ward 3, lying mostly east of Geary Street and Pacific Boulevard, with 4,719. But this is the only Albany ward where Republicans outnumber Democrats, 4,603 to 4,307.

Candidates for city offices run as nonpartisans, so an edge in party registrations means less than voters’ knowledge or perception of candidates’ personalities or other qualities.

In its political makeup, by the way, Albany as the county seat differs sharply from Linn County as a whole. Countywide, registered Republicans maintain the strong lead they have had over Democrats for the last two or three decades.

As of Thursday, Linn County’s voter registration total of 93,809 included 33,172 Republicans, 22,774 Democrats, and 31,200 nonaffiliated voters (plus a smattering of minor parties).

In this, Linn could not be more different from Benton County if it tried.

Benton County reports a registration total of 60,504. Democrats dominate with 26,858 registrations. The nonaffiliated number 16,908, and the Republicans come in third with 13,019.

Enough with the numbers. People often say they vote for the candidate, not the party. Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t. (hh)

The ballot box outside the 5th Avenue side of the Linn County Courthouse.

17 responses to “D’s, R’s and Nons: The local numbers”

  1. Ronald says:

    Now I know what the problem is in Albany. Too many Democrats

  2. Phil says:

    Interesting look at voting demographics. I’d be really interested to see these numbers as they relate to age, wealth and unemployment in Albany.

  3. thomas earl cordier says:

    Same reason why the ADH coverage is sooooo slanted

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    As a former deplorable who is transitioning to progressivism, I vote for candidates who offer the most “free stuff” paid for with other people’s money.

  5. Ean says:

    I wish more people would register for one of the two major parties. I get why so many are disillusioned by the two party system but if you drop out because of some ideological purity test you can’t vote in primaries and that leads us to increasingly polarizing candidates. I think too that neither Linn or Benton counties have an extreme tilt as the numbers show. It makes sense to be on the winning side so you can vote for candidates in the primaries that have an actual shot in the general. If you are in Benton County and a centrist it makes sense to register as a D and vice versa in Linn County. Personally in a lot of ways I align more on the R side but they have abandoned fiscal responsibility and refuse to acknowledge the science behind climate change so I feel I have little choice since those are core values to me.

  6. CHEZZ says:

    *LOL Looks like another case of ‘complain and remain’.

  7. Greg Storms says:

    I’ve been a proud nonaffiliated voter for as long as I can remember. It’s too bad there is not a viable third party in this country.

  8. Ray Kopczynski says:

    What is most disconcerting to me is not the numbers by party-affiliation, rather the huge amount of $$ being thrown into this years campaigns! Right now, a single race (Ward 1) is over $47,000! It wasn’t too long ago that a couple of thou (if that) would to the job. Go to ORESTAR and lookup the individual races. What’s even more scary is that we’re also starting to mirror national politics in that there’s “out of state” money being sent to candidates.

  9. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Hasso says the candidates run as non-partisans, but look at the money Kolkow and Dant received from the Linn County Democrats Central Committee. Kolkow also received a bundle from the DeFazio campaign. Clearly partisan.

    And Konopa has the union vote: United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Joint Council of Teamsters. Clearly partisan.

    • sonamata says:

      Stop cherry-picking.

      In the past 5 years, The Linn County Democrats gave $7800 cash and $1600 in in-kind donations to: Miriam Cummins, Keith Kolkow, Amanda Dant, Michael Thomson, Paige Hook, Jerred Taylor, Stephanie Newton, Renee Windsor, Marty Wilde, and Fay Stetzer.

      In the past 5 years, the Good Government Council (Albany Chamber of Commerce) has given $17,000 cash and nearly $20,000 in in-kind donations (FOUR TIMES the Dem Central Committee total) to: Roger Nyquist, Mike Sykes, Andy Olson, Rich Kellum, Shelly Boshart Davis, John Lindsey, Alex Johnson ($4000), Bessie Johnson, Sherrie Sprenger, Matilda Novak, and Marilyn Smith. Clearly partisan.

      Konopa has the union vote and Alex Johnson is backed by the “the only organization in the country solely devoted to protecting REALTOR® interests at the local, state, and federal level.” Guess they’re even.

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        Thank you for identifying more names who received funds from two partisan organizations. Some names on your list are even running for city council this cycle.

        And let’s add Ray K to the list. He’s disconcerted by the $ being thrown into the campaigns while at the same time taking money from the Chamber.

        Political connections abound in these so-called “non-partisan” races.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          I received absolutely *ZERO* $/money from the Chamber. ORESTAR reflects that.

          • Gordon L. Shadle says:

            $200 in-kind contribution on 10/8/2020.

            “In kind” meaning payment in goods or services as opposed to cash.

            Either way, you received financial benefit.

            The bigger question is – What do they expect in return?

  10. Ray Kopczynski says:

    I’m calling you out again!

    You said “$.” And now you’re waffling again. I stand by what I said. I have derived 100% ZERO “financial benefit.”

    I’m sure the Chamber fully expects me to bow, scrape, and be their lap dog, for that massive “in kind” contribution. Right. Got it… Thank you for educating me.

  11. Walt Monteith says:

    What you didn’t mention, Hasso, is that this is the FIRST time the Democrats have more registered voters than the Republicans in Albany in I believe over 25 years. What is happening in Albany??


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