Mixed martial artist Matt "The Law" Lindland failed Tuesday to capture an open Oregon state legislature seat. Running as a Republican in House District 52, Lindland, an Olympic silver medal-winning Greco-Roman wrestler in 2000 and one of MMA's top middleweights, garnered 41.7 percent of the vote to Democrat Suzanne VanOrman's 58.7.
Oregon voters went overwhelmingly Democratic at the top of the ballot, delivering its seven electoral votes to Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) by 13 percantage points over Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).
Though Oregon voters narrowly reelected Republican Gordon H. Smith to the U.S. Senate, the state trended blue. Lindland's defeat, a diffference of 2,716 votes out of 16,595 cast, was one of several that pushed a 31-29 Democrat edge to 39-21, more than enough to ensure a super-majority in Salem.
"I'm not a career politician," Lindland, 38, said in the run-up to the election. "This is something I felt I had to do for myself and for other people in my district that really don't want to see us get taxed and ran over."
Lindland (21-5) said he would wait until the completion of the election to determine his political fate. The veteran fighter is rumored to return to the ring against Renato "Babalu" Sobral on an Affliction promoted card in January.