Brown, McLane, Walden all re-elected
Incumbents once again emerged victorious in races for Oregon Governor, House District 55 and Second Congressional District Tuesday night.
According to unofficial statewide voting results, Democrat Kate Brown was re-elected Oregon Governor in a race that was not as tight as expected. Brown claimed about 50 percent of the vote versus 44 percent for Republican Knute Buehler. Crook County voters did not follow the statewide trend, with 73.5 percent of voters choosing Buehler versus 20.4 voting for Brown.
Republican Greg Walden won another term as Oregon's Second Congressional District Representative in the closest race for the position since he took office in 1998. He received 56.2 percent of the vote while 39.8 percent of voters in the district voted for Democratic challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner.
Walden's margin of victory was larger in Crook County, where 71.8 percent of voters chose him and 23.9 percent voted for McLeod-Skinner.
"I thank the voters of Oregon's Second District for supporting me to serve as their representative in Congress for another term," Walden said. "I remain committed to getting results for our veterans, farmers, ranchers, small business people and our way of life in our district."
Walden went on to say that "we have more work to do to address the challenges facing our communities."
"By working together, we can continue moving forward in a better direction for families in our part of the state, and I am committed to achieving that goal," he said.
McLeod-Skinner express pride in her campaign as she conceded the race to Walden Tuesday night, surrounded by friends, family and supporters in Bend.
"This campaign has been about the people of our district and our shared vision of fixing what's broken and treating people fairly," she said.
McLeod-Skinner went on to highlight several issues she believes are important to the district, including protection of health care, educational opportunities, local economic development, fair immigration reform, and fixing the broken Veterans Affairs system.
"Rep. Walden has my support in addressing these critical issues," she said, "and I congratulate him on his successful campaign."
Powell Butte resident and current House Republican Leader Mike McLane was elected to another two-year term as Oregon House District 55 Representative after defeating Democratic challenger Karen Rippberger. McLane won 72.2 percent of district votes and Rippberger received 27.7 percent. Again, the margin was larger in Crook County with McLane receiving 77.2 percent of the votes versus 22.8 percent for Rippberger.
When it came to Oregon's five ballot measures, Crook County voters countered the statewide trend on three of the measures.
Oregon voters approved Measure 102, a proposed amendment to the Oregon constitution that allows local bonds for financing affordable housing. Statewide, the measure was approved by a 55.9 to 44.1 percent margin. However, Crook County voters rejected the measure, with 56.5 percent voting no compared to 43.5 percent voting in favor.
Measure 103, which would prohibit taxes based on transactions for groceries enacted or amended after September 2017 was voted down statewide by 57.8 percent of voters, but 60 percent of Crook County voters approved it.
Oregon voters also rejected Measure 104, which would expand application of the requirement that three-fifths legislative majority approve bills raising revenue. About 65.7 percent of Oregon voters turned down the measure, while only 52.1 percent of Crook County voters rejected the measure.
Measure 105, which would repeal a law limiting use of law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws, was voted down by 62.7 percent of Oregon voters. Locally, Crook County voters approved the measure, with 60.6 percent voting yes.
Statewide, voters also rejected Measure 106, which would prohibit spending public funds for abortion. About 64.2 percent of voters cast a no vote against the measure, while Crook County voters approved the measure with 56.4 percent of the vote.
When it came to local candidates, the election lacked drama as all city and county hopefuls ran unopposed. Nevertheless, residents can expect a few new names in elected positions in January. Janet Hutchison and Patricia Jungmann will join the Prineville City Council, and current councilor Steve Uffelman will slide over to the mayor seat.
Debbie Palmer, who was appointed by the Crook County Court to serve as treasurer, was elected to a four-year term. Wade Whiting, who was appointed to Crook County District Attorney, and Daina Vitolins, a local circuit judge appointee, were both elected to four-year term as well. Meanwhile, voters re-elected incumbent County Clerk Cheryl Seely.
Also, local voters once again strongly supported Crook County Ballot Measure 7-65, a continuation of a tax levy to support day-to-day operations at Bowman Museum. About 81.3 percent of voters approved continuation of the tax, which is 6 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value.
"I am thrilled, needless to say," Sandy Cohen, museum director, remarked, adding that he is impressed with the support the community has given the museum through the years.
The museum staff, board members and volunteers gathered Wednesday morning to celebrate the measure's success and marvel at how much the voters embraced it.
"When you see over 80 percent, my daughter said, 'That's a B,' and ordinarily it is," Cohen said. "But in the world of politics, it is an A+."