Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Overnight Energy: Democrats call for Ross to resign over report he threatened NOAA officials | Commerce denies report | Documents detail plan to decentralize BLM | Lawmakers demand answers on bee-killing pesticide Oregon Democrats push EPA to justify use of pesticide 'highly toxic' to bees MORE, the candidate backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to take on Sen. Gordon Smith (R), beat upstart Steve Novick in a tightly contested primary in Oregon Tuesday.

Merkley had 46 percent of the vote to Novick's 41 percent with two-thirds of the vote counted, according to The Oregonian.

Novick, a Harvard Law graduate with a hook for a left hand, had promised to bring more change to the Senate than Merkley, the state House Speaker. Merkley pointed to his liberal legislative accomplishments in defending the environment and increasing funding for public education.