Simmelink, Huston top commission races
In unofficial returns, three people were clear winners in the Jefferson County primary race May 15, which will decide the four-way race for clerk and two contested positions on the Jefferson County Commission.
Only about 32.7 percent of the 14,046 eligible voters returned their ballots, for an unofficial total of 4,599.
For the position of Jefferson County clerk, Kate Zemke, the chief deputy clerk for the past 17 years, received about 54.1 percent of the ballots cast (2,300 votes), which means she will be the sole name on the ballot for clerk in Nov. 6 general election.
Of the other three candidates, Charity Dubisar collected the most votes (1,205), with about 28.4 percent of the vote, Brian Crow, about 11.9 percent (505), and Yoonsun Reynolds, about 5.6 percent (236).
If no one had received more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters would have moved on to the November election, but because Zemke surpassed the 50-percent mark, she will be the only candidate for the position in November.
Jefferson County Commissioner Mae Huston, who was challenged by Kim Schmith for position 1 on the commission, received about 57.5 percent of the vote (2,463 votes). Schmith received about 42.2 percent of the vote (1,811). By receiving more than 50 percent of the vote, Huston avoided a runoff in the November election.
Kelly Simmelink was the big winner for position 2 on the County Commission, currently held by Mike Ahern, who did not run for re-election.
Simmelink received about 61.2 percent of the vote (2,600 votes), while Courtney Snead collected about 29.4 percent (1,248), and Mary Kendall, about 9.3 percent of the vote for the nonpartisan position (396).
Because he received more than 50 percent of the vote, Simmelink will be elected through the primary election.
Also on the ballot was special road district for the Canyon View subdivision southeast of Madras. The measure was passing by a vote of 58 yes to 51 no — 53.2 percent to 46.8 percent.
On the national ballot, seven Democrats were vying for the opportunity to oppose U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican, in the November election.
Jefferson County followed the statewide returns, giving Jamie McLeod-Skinner, of Crooked River Ranch, a slight edge over the other six Democratic candidates with 28.8 percent of the vote (326). Statewide, she received about 40.5 percent of the vote.
In Jefferson County, other Democratic candidates and their approximated percentages were: Jennifer "Jenni" Neahring, 27.2 percent (308); Jim Crary, 19.2 percent (217); Tim White, 8.2 percent (93); Raz Mason, 6.1 percent (69); Eric Burnette, 5.2 percent (59); and Michael Byrne, 3.6 percent (41).
Percentages were different statewide, but candidates remained in the same order, from highest percentage to lowest.
In November, McLeod-Skinner will face Walden, who easily beat two Republican challengers for his seat, garnering about 75.7 percent of the vote (1,798 votes).
In Jefferson County, Republican challenger Paul Romero Jr. received about 16.3 percent of the vote (387), and Randy Pollock, 7.8 percent (185).