Tuesday's biggest election upset came when Joe Berney defeated Sid Leiken for the Springfield seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners. Berney's victory sets the stage for a barn-burner runoff in November between Heather Buch and Gary Williams in the board's east Lane district. Control of Lane County government will be at stake.

Berney became a giant-killer by beating Leiken, Springfield's best-known local politician. Leiken's two terms on the county board were preceded by 10 years as mayor of Springfield, and two years on the Springfield City Council. Leiken relied too heavily on his status as a familiar figure, making himself vulnerable to an energetic challenger arguing for change.

Leiken is aligned with the conservative majority on the board, joining Jay Bozievich, who was re-elected in the west Lane district Tuesday, north Eugene Commissioner Pat Farr, and appointed east Lane incumbent Williams. Berney's win reduces that bloc by one. If Buch prevails over Williams in the fall, she would join Berney and south Eugene Commissioner Pete Sorenson to form a new moderate-to-progressive majority, the first of its kind in nearly a decade. Voters can expect an intense, and expensive, campaign.

What next for a Eugene auditor?

Eugene voters defeated both proposals to create a city auditor's office — an initiative measure for an elected auditor failed by 7 percentage points, and the Eugene City Council's measure calling for an appointed auditor was rejected by a 3-to-1 ratio. The initiative's version was too expensive and unaccountable; the council's proposal was seen as a maneuver to derail the competing measure.

A city auditor, however, is not a bad idea. With some refinements, and in a political atmosphere less polluted by suspicion and acrimony, a proposal for an auditor's office might fly. In the wake of Tuesday's doubly negative verdict by the voters, such a proposal can't come from the City Council any time soon. Only an independent citizens' group would be able to pick up the pieces, apply what has been learned and give Eugene the cost-saving benefits of performance auditing.

Another Brown-Buehler showdown

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown won't be running for re-election against President Trump. State Rep. Knute Buehler received nearly as many votes as the two leading pro-Trump candidates combined, winning the Republican nomination by a plurality of 47 percent. The question of whether a relatively moderate Republican can prevail in a statewide Oregon primary in the age of Trump has been answered.

Buehler's victory and Brown's easy primary win sets up a replay of the 2012 secretary of state's race, when Brown defeated Buehler by 8 percentage points. This time, Buehler has legislative experience on his résumé, and Brown has a record as governor to defend. Republican voters chose a nominee who has a chance of ending 32 years of Democratic control of the governor's office.

A winning formula

The success of two Eugene parks measures Tuesday shows that the city has found a winning formula when it comes to asking taxpayers for money. Measure 20-288, a $15 million, five-year operating levy, passed by a ratio of almost 2 to1. Measure 20-289, a $39.3 million construction bond, passed by only a slightly smaller margin.

In crafting the measures, the city followed the pattern set by its three successful street-repair bond measures: It provided a detailed list of needed repairs, distributed throughout the city, with price tags. After the street measures passed, work began promptly, with signs reminding voters of the funding source. The formula has worked for street repairs, and now it should work for parks — presuming the city follows through with its plans as promised.

A new BOLI commissioner

It is unfortunate that the election for state Bureau of Labor and Industries commissioner was one of the few to descend into negative campaigning. An advertisement supported by candidate Lou Ogden's campaign painted his opponent, former state Rep. Val Hoyle, as an anti-gun control candidate supported by the National Rifle Association, referencing the Parkland school shooting for good measure. In reality, Hoyle has an F rating from the Oregon Firearms Federation, and the NRA launched a recall effort against Hoyle in 2015 when she was House majority leader.

Hoyle won election handily, regardless, and will now be tasked with fulfilling her promises to strengthen job training and apprenticeship program, enforce employment and civil rights laws, and help create more family-wage jobs. It's a tall order but Hoyle's experience of working across party lines in the  Legislature, where she represented parts of Lane County, should stand her in good stead.

Nominate, lose, repeat

Long-time Congressman Peter DeFazio, unsurprisingly, again won the Democratic primary in U.S. House District 4. The Republicans, faced with five candidates, again chose Cave Junction Republican Art Robinson, who has lost to DeFazio four times in a row and now carries the added baggage of being linked to Cambridge Analytica, a central player in the Facebook data scandal.

Instead of repeating this same failed formula, Republicans should be looking to the future. DeFazio will not be around forever. Republicans should be selecting and grooming future candidates for his seat when it does finally become vacant; including giving them a chance to learn from experience by running against DeFazio now. In this divided district, a strong new candidate might stand a chance against a Democrat other than DeFazio.