Williams wins House seat; local Senate race too close to call: Unofficial Nov. 6 election results

Nov. 6 has passed and the campaign season has ended; but the election isn’t quite over.

Hood River County Elections Office continues to receive ballots sent from other counties and resolve “question” ballots for 14 days after an election.

“There’s a lot that goes on after an election,” said Kim Kean of the Hood River County Election Office. “The results will change from this morning to this evening.”

Approximately 200 “question” ballots remain uncounted, she said. Those voters have been notified by mail that they must come to the county Elections Office before Nov. 20 to verify authenticity.

Though official results won’t be posted until Nov. 21, most of the ballots have been counted and unofficial results have been issued:

Words from the candidates

The Hood River News reached out to the candidates in some of Hood River’s closest races: Mayor of Hood River, State Senate Dist. 26 and State Representative Dist. 52, for comment after the Nov. 6 vote. Here’s what they had to say:

See the article on A1 for election results.

Hood River Mayor

Paul Blackburn

“I am very pleased to be reelected,” he said, but most of all, he said he is proud of the Hood River community for its high voter turnout. “I’m so thrilled with our voter turnout — 73 percent in Hood River County (now estimated at 74.8, percent), that’s leading in the state. This community did a great job and I’m so proud.

“I have to hand it to Susan (Johnson), she ran a very strong campaign.”

“It was closer than it was last time. All the kudos to her and her campaign.”

Susan Johnson

“It was very, very close and still not official,” she said, but whichever way it goes, she added, “I’m okay with that because that (the race was close) is a huge statement.” She reaffirmed her campaign priorities of public safety and infrastructure, as well as her stance on affordable housing and her commitment to making sure that everyone is heard. “It’s really important for everyone in the community to be heard,” she said. “What’s really, really important is that people are very enthused and excited to be involved.”

She thanked her community and volunteers, and said of Blackburn, “Paul is a wonderful person and I wish him the best of luck … we both ran very good campaigns.”

State Senate Dist. 26

Chuck Thomsen

“We spent the whole day with phones off picking up signs,” he said of election day. “We knew it’d be close because I stayed fairly positive in campaign. High road is better.”

Chrissy Reitz could not be reached for comment by press time.

State Representative Dist. 52

Anna Williams

“I am grateful for the support I received in this race from my family, friends and the voters,” she said in an official statement. “I am excited to get to work in Salem on the shared priorities of the district — education, environment, housing, transportation and improving access to social and medical services. I am grateful for the good work of Rep. Helfrich in our district and I look forward to working with all my legislative colleagues to solve the tough problems facing our state.”

Rep. Jeff Helfrich

“This was an extremely competitive race, so much so that there’s approximately 800 votes that separate me from my opponent. I look forward to seeing the certified results in two weeks,” he said in an official statement. “Regardless of who the winner may be, we need to make sure we all work together for our district and the state of Oregon to ensure a better tomorrow.”

Of 14,653 eligible voters in Hood River County, 10,961 ballots were received: Approximately a 74.8 percent voter turnout.

Statewide, 1,902,953 ballots were received out of 2,762,622 eligible voters: Approximately a 68.88 percent voter turnout.

Anna Williams unseated Rep. Jeff Helfrich (R) 51.20 percent to 48.67 percent district-wide — 770 votes. She won in Hood River County 65.23 percent to 34.69 percent.

District 26 Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Pine Grove) and his challenger, Chrissy Reitz (D-Hood River), are separated by a mere 402 votes, with Thomsen in the lead at 50.29 percent, Reitz 49.58 percent. In Hood River County, Reitz won with 60.69 percent, Thomsen 39.24 percent. The uncounted ballots will likely determine the outcome of this race.

In the City of Hood River mayoral race, incumbent Mayor Paul Blackburn beat challenger Susan Johnson by 174 votes, 52.39 percent to 47.32 percent.

For Hood River City Council, Jessica Metta received the most votes at 26.06 percent, followed by Erik Haynie at 16.29 percent and Tim Counihan at 13.24 percent. Council member Peter Cornelison got 11.55 percent of the vote and did not retain his seat.

Tom Cramblett was reelected for mayor of Cascade Locks, 60.19 percent to Kathy Tittle’s 38.87 percent.

Julie Caldwell-Wagner and Sara Patrick were the top-two vote-getters in the Cascade Locks City Council race, separated by just seven votes: 21.68 percent to 21.17 percent. Council member Richard Randall apparently takes the third seat with 19.10 percent, but is only separated from Ralph Miller, 18.81 percent, by four votes. The fifth and final candidate running for the three seats on Cascade Locks City Council, council member Deanna Busdieker, received 17.18 percent of the vote and did not retain her seat. The uncounted ballots will likely determine the outcome of this race.

Democratic candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner lost the U.S. Representative District 2 race to incumbent Rep. Greg Walden (R), 39.17 percent to Walden’s 56.54 percent. Though McLeod Skinner won Hood River County by a landslide 63.44 percent to 33.95 percent, she lost in every other county in the district except Deschutes, where she won by just 628 votes. In Hood River County, 2.56 percent of the vote went to Independent candidate Mark Roberts, 4.2 percent statewide.

Kate Brown was reelected State Governor, 49.94 percent to Knute Buehler’s 43.83 percent. Independent candidate Patrick Starnes, who officially withdrew from the race two weeks ago, received 2.87 percent of the vote. Brown won Hood River County 59.65 percent to 35.26 percent.

Eight measures were also on the Nov. 6 ballot: Three local and five statewide.

All three local measures passed: Hood River County’s Marijuana Tax, 73.51 percent to 26.49 percent; the City of Cascade Locks’ charter amendment ensuring plurality elections following a city council vacancy, 68.05 percent to 31.95 percent; and the City of Cascade Locks’ ordinance to continue the EMS service fee, 77.68 percent to 22.32 percent.

Of the statewide measures, Measure 102, allowing local bonds for affordable housing with nongovernmental agencies, was the only one to pass: 56.69 percent “yes” to 43.31 percent “no”.

The other four state measures on the ballot failed: Measure 103, prohibiting taxes on groceries, failed 57.38 percent “no” to 42.62 percent “yes”; Measure 104, requiring three-fifths majority on bills raising revenue, failed 65.26 percent “no” to 34.74 percent “yes”; Measure 105, repealing Oregon’s sanctuary status, failed 63.31 percent “no” to 36.69 percent “yes”; and Measure 106, prohibiting spending public funds on abortion, failed 64.45 percent “no” to 35.55 percent “yes”.

Hood River County’s results for these statewide measures reflect the same overall outcomes: 102 passed 63.03 percent “yes” to 36.97 percent “no”; 103 failed 63.84 percent “no” to 36.16 percent “yes”; 104 failed 71.22 percent “no” to 28.78 percent “yes”; 105 failed 72.54 percent “no” to 27.46 percent “yes”; and 106 failed 71.55 percent “no” to 28.45 percent “yes.”

For updated local, state and federal election results, visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s website at results.oregonvotes.gov.



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