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Hello my fellow Kossacks! I'm here at the Oregon Convention Center with the Merkley Campaign, the Obama Campaign and the Democratic Party of Oregon. This election year has been nothing short of amazing. The results are in and Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. Now that we will have a new President in January, it's up to the Senate to make sure his agenda for change moves forward. I've been working for Jeff Merkley for the last five months and have been an ardent supporter for a long time. Now, we're just minutes away from the results to begin trickling in....

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Before I begin liveblogging the results, I want to take a quick look back at the the Oregon Senate race. The Oregon Senate race always has been a hotly contested race since the beginning. Even with the political climate favoring Democrats, many Oregon skeptics believed that it would be near impossible to unseat Republican Gordon Smith. Gordon Smith had a war chest worth millions and created a faux moderate persona that kept him in power for two terms.

Then Democrat Jeff Merkley came along.....

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As Oregon's House Speaker, Merkley led the greenest, most labor friendly, most progressive and productive session we've had in 30 years. Merkley had a record to run on, while Smith has a record he wanted to run from. Merkley ran to deliver the change Oregon deserves: reforming our harmful trade deals, fixing our broken our health care system, ending the war in Iraq, protecting our civil liberties and restoring our moral standing in the world.

As the months wore on, Merkley faced the nastiest smear campaign Oregon has ever seen. Gordon Smith had no other option but to throw mud at Merkley in an effort to stall his climbing poll numbers. No matter what kind of misleading or deceiving attack Smith put out, Oregonians weren't buying it. Merkley kept gaining momentum throughout the state.

Merkley toured every corner of the state on his 100 Town Tour for Change, talking to voters about the problems they face. Merkley laid out detailed policy proposals to tackle climate change, help protect the middle class, end the war in Iraq and take care of our veterans when they come home. Merkley worked tirelessly get his message out to Oregonians, day in and day out.

Jumping into the race was not an easy choice for Jeff Merkley. When Jeff Merkley became Oregon's House Speaker, Merkley dove in and tackled a whole host of issues. Jeff kicked out the predatory lenders, increased funding for education, created the Rainy Day fund, passed ethics reform, passed domestic partnerships and made Oregon a leader in renewable energy. But, Jeff knew that no matter what he did in Oregon, the nation was completely off track. Merkley made the decision to dive in and take on entrenched Republican Gordon Smith.

Now, here we are nearly a year and half since Merkley jumped in the race.    No matter the results of this election, Merkley and the whole campaign should be proud of the work they have done to elect a strong-willed progressive Democrat to the Senate. That said, let the liveblogging begin.....

Originally posted to sarahlane on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 08:03 PM PST.

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