Virk, Johnson, win re-election

Jan Veldhuisen Virk and Mark Johnson easily kept their seats on the Hood River County School District Board of Directors in voting in the May 21 Special Districts election.

Virk gained 1,683 votes (66.9 percent) to 792 for Tim Counihan, a research biologist running for school board for the first time.

Johnson was the only name on the ballot for Position 6, but write-in candidate Mary Reynolds gained 39.7 percent of the votes in the 314-207 race.

Overall turnout was 26.16 percent, as 3,007 out of 11,494 eligible voters turned in their ballots.

“It feels great to know voters of Hood River County have confidence in me,” Virk said. “We have a great school district and I’m proud to be part of it.”

In the County Parks and Recreation District race, Greg Davis gained the most votes and Renee Van de Griend won re-election in a remarkably close four-way race for two open seats.

Davis, an Insitu project manager, received 933 votes, or 28.06 percent of the vote, to Van de Griend’s 928 votes, 27.91 percent. In third was John Everitt with 847 votes, or 25.47 percent. Rob Kovacich received 585 votes, for 17.59 percent.

The race for Wy’east Rural Fire District held a similar pattern, in this case voters choosing three of four candidates in a tight finish: Rob Graves edged Weseman, 387-384, for a 28.6 to 28.4 percent split, with Eric Cedarstam close behind at 323, or 23.9 percent, for the third seat. Rodney Hasty pulled in 249 votes, 18.45 percent.

Butch Gehrig was the clear winner in the only other contested race on the ballot, for Odell Sanitary District. Gehrig gained 142 votes, or 50 percent, and Bob Duddles (74 votes, 26 percent) edged Steve Smith (69 votes, 24 percent).

See the May 29 edition for full results.

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