See columbiagorgenews.com for ongoing election updates, and the Nov. 18 print edition.
On Nov. 3, mayors in The Dalles and Hood River won re-election and incumbents were re-elected in three races for Oregon House districts representing Gorge counties: Democrat Anna Williams of Hood River, Republican Greg Smith of Heppner, and Republican Daniel Bonham of The Dalles held off challengers.
All results are final unofficial until certification; in Oregon that date is Nov. 19.
“We’ll have one last batch of ballots we’ll count after 14 days (resolved ballot challenges, ballots from other counties), so that’s why these are unofficial results until we certify the election in 20 days,” said Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee.
The closest local races are for The Dalles City Council, where incumbent Darcy Long-Curtiss leads John Willer 3,193 to 3,095 , a 50.47 to 48.93 percent margin for Position 2, and incumbent Rod Runyon leads Tiffany Price 3,305 to 3192, a 50.58 to 48.85 percent margin.
In Oregon, an automatic recount is only triggered when the count is within one fifth of one percent.
Said Long-Curtiss, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of The Dalles for four more years. I look forward to hearing from people about the issues they feel are most important to our community.”
Said Runyon, “First of all, thank you to the citizens of The Dalles. The opportunity to serve rests with you and I sincerely appreciate the request to continue in this position. Those familiar with my background know that I enjoy doing the research that leads to questions on both sides of an issue. As a non-partisan councilor, I do my best to represent the general good of the community. I will listen to your concerns and while we may not always ultimately agree, I will endeavor to bring your questions forward.
“To all those candidates who did not succeed this time, it is my hope that you will continue to be involved through committees and programs in our community.”
“While not winning is obviously not a victory, the incumbent should take note that I lost by only 113 votes in a campaign where the only money I spent was on 50 yard signs,” said Prince. “Mr. Runyon and some of his colleagues should reflect on the fact that I ran on a campaign demanding accountability on the part of the city while insisting that the council take the time to hear the voices of those generations ignored for decades ... Thank you to everyone who voted for me, and I look forward to continuing to serve our community in varying capacities in the near future.”
In The Dalles City Council Position 4 race, Dan Richardson was the clearest winner, with 67 percent of the vote (3,488) over John Grant’s 21 percent (1,258) and F. John Ecole’s 10 percent (596).
In Oregon House District 59, Daniel Bonham topped Mosier Mayor Arlene Burns, 58 to 40 percent, 23,176 to 15,429. (Burns ran unopposed for re-election as mayor.)
Said Bonham, "Our neighbors heard the calling and came out to vote at historical levels. With strong showing on the coast and throughout rural Oregon, the Republicans picked up districts that have been part of the Democratic majority for over 20 years. This election has shown that standing up for working families will need to be a priority for the next legislative session. We have a lot of work to do and I am ready to roll up my sleeves."
In the Oregon Dist. 52 race, Anna Williams defeated Jeff Helfrich, 16,869 to 14,373, a 53 to 45 percent margin.
Said Williams, “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to have the support of this community and be re-elected to continue serving the House District 52 area! This election season has been anything but ordinary as we have worked to navigate civil unrest, unprecedented wildfires, and a global pandemic — to name just a few. I could not have gotten here without my campaign team, my family, and my incredible supporters. As State Representative, I will continue to stand up for our community as an independent-minded legislator and build on the progress we’ve made over the last two years. I will fight for our students to have a high-quality education, to expand access to rural healthcare and social services, and to make sure that small businesses and working families have what they need to rebuild from COVID-19.”
Said Helfrich, “I congratulate Rep. Williams on her victory. Running a campaign during a global pandemic has been truly a once in a lifetime challenge. We have had to figure out the new rules of the game as it went on. My team and I engaged with the people of House District 52, working toward a brighter vision for the state of Oregon. After 30 years of public service, I am going to turn toward a new chapter in my life — focusing on family and the needs of the people around me.”
In Dist. 57, Smith polled 77 percent of the vote to Roland Ruhe’s 23 percent, 19,234 to 5,767.
The Dalles Mayor Rich Mays (62 percent, 4,242 votes) handily defeated Solea Kabokov (27 percent, 1,814) and Jason Garrett Gibson (10 percent, 695).
“I’m obviously very happy with the results,” said Mays. “I was gratified with the margin of victory and I’m very excited to work with the new city council ... with everything that’s been going on, it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
In Cascade Locks, Bob Walker defeated Samantha Verschuren for mayor, 339-226, 54 to 43 percent.
Hood River Mayor Kate McBride and all three city council incumbents won re-election.
McBride polled 2,483 to 1,229 for businesswoman Dani Correa (a gap of 64-34 percent) while councilor Gladys Rivera, appointed in 2019, took the most votes at 2,227 followed closely by Megan Saunders at 2,223 and Mark Zanmiller at 1,839.
Challengers were Susan Johnson at 1,639, Brian Towey at 1,440 and Don Harring at 911.
Hood River County
Both ballot measures in Hood River County passed: The home rule charter update by an 8,045-2,613 margin (65.13 to 34.87), and the Cascade Locks cemetery fee increase, 379-276, 58 to 42 percent.
Wasco County voters approved bonds for the South Wasco County School District to improve school facilities, 751-607, 55.30 to 44.70 percent; and the City of Shaniko voted 12-11 not to renew a five year local option levy for fire protection, 52.17 percent to 47.83 percent.
In Washington, Republican House members Chris Corry and Gina Mosbrucker won re-election in their Dist. 14 seats — by nearly identical margins. Corry took Position 1, 21,357 (57 percent) to Tracy Rushing’s 16,153 (43 percent.) For Position 2, Mosbrucker’s margin was 21,483 over Devin Kuh’s 15,760 — 57.6 to 42.1 percent.
Statewide, Gov. Jay Inslee handily won re-election over Republican challenger Loren Culp, 1,964,141 to 1,338,491, a 59 to 40 percent margin.
Kim Wyman, the Republican Secretary of State incumbent, held off challenger Gail Tarleton, 52 percent to 48 percent: 1,676,482 to 1,556,675.
Klickitat County ballots are still being processed, with an estimated 1,669 ballots left to count at press time Friday, according to the latest county figures. So far, 9,876 ballots have been counted, which makes an estimated voter turnout of 71.9 percent out of 16,050 registered voters in the county.
In local races, Dan Christopher is maintaining a close lead ahead of incumbent Jim Sizemore in the race for county commissioner position 3, with 5,170 votes going to Christopher, 4,973 votes to Sizemore, and 174 write-ins.
Joanna Turner has an uphill climb to erase the lead set by Jacob Anderson in the race for county commissioner position 1. Turner currently has 4,556, while Anderson has received 6,720 votes.
Skyline tax measure
A proposed resolution to lift Public Hospital District #2’s (Skyline Hospital) property tax levy lid is receiving majority voter approval so far, with 3,299 votes for and 2,671 votes against.
Election results from Klickitat County will be certified Nov. 24.