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Race too close to call in the race for Board of Commissioners between incumbent Stan Primozich and challenger Casey Kulla

From the perspective of local races, preliminary results from Tuesday's primary election provided little in the way of surprises with incumbents holding sway in county and legislative races.

The one race too close to call as of Wednesday morning was for Position 1 on the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners. As of 11 a.m. incumbent Stan Primozich held less than a percentage point lead over challenger Casey Kulla, 32.66 percent (6,482 votes) to 31.74 percent (6,299 votes) with 19,844 votes cast. Jason Yates earned 22.32 percent and Josh Rojas 13.04 percent of the vote.

Should the results for that race remain consistent, Primozich and Kulla will face off in the general election in November under the state requirement that to win outright a candidate must garner a minimum of 50 percent plus one vote.

That proviso will not be in play for the other open spot on the Board of Commissioners, now held by incumbent Mary Starrett. She earned more than 61 percent of the 20,050 votes cast to easily outdistance challengers Chelsey Williams (24.11 percent) and David Wall (14.47 percent). As such, Starrett has won outright and will not face a challenger in the fall.

The other county race of note, that to replace retiring Judge Ronald Stone on the Yamhill County Circuit Court, will likely go to a runoff in the fall as well. In the five-person race for the bench, county deputy district attorney Lisl Miller held a comfortable 33.85 percent lead over the No. 2 vote-getter in the race, McMinnville attorney Jennifer Chapman (24.62 percent). Attorneys Mark Pihl (11.29 percent), J. Mark Lawrence (15.86 percent) and Carol Fredrick (14.07 percent) rounded out the rest of the field and won't be part of the runoff in the November general election.

In the race for Senate District 13, held for the past two terms by Kim Thatcher, Paul Diller enjoyed a 51.95 to 47.44 percent lead over Sarah Grider in the Democratic primary. Should the results continue in Diller's favor, he will face Thatcher in the fall primary. Thatcher didn't face a challenger in the GOP primary.

House District 25 state Rep. Bill Post will face Democratic challenger Dave McCall in the fall as neither had an opponent in the primary. House District 24 state Rep. Ron Noble also didn't face a challenger in the primary and the Democrats didn't produce a candidate, so the retired police chief will enjoy a second term in the Legislature starting in January.

Final results for Yamhill County-related elections won't become official for several weeks, but changes are rarely substantial. The one exception could be the Board of Commissioner race between Primozich and Kulla. Should the incumbent's lead over his challenger narrow to less than about 40 votes, it could trigger a recount under state law.

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