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Prineville and Crook County voters have both likely passed measures to prohibit psilocybin facilities

Crook County's unofficial election results are in and as of Wednesday morning, two new Prineville City Councilors are poised to take office, two measures prohibiting local psilocybin facilities have passed and a measure to change the Bowman Museum tax levy is failing by a nearly 1,000-vote margin.

City councilor candidates Scott Smith and Shane Howard have each won about 27% of the Prineville votes and incumbent Janet Hutchison received 26.19%. The top three vote-getters out of four candidates win election, meaning fellow incumbent Patricia Jungmann, who gained the least number of votes (17%), will not retain her position.

Smith, who spent his career in the city's public works department, went into the election confident his candidacy would be a success, but he was nevertheless pleased with the outcome and now anticipates getting to work.

"I'm looking forward to it, but I know it is a big responsibility," he said. "I will just take that on and see where it goes."

Howard said he is grateful and excited that city voters elected him to the council.

"Our city has excellent people working within," he said, "and they've accomplished many great things within our little town, and I'm really excited for the opportunity to work alongside these folks."

The initial results show the Bowman Museum tax measure, which called for the first increase in the tax levy's two-decade history, failing by a margin of 5,972 votes (54.12%) to 5,063 (45.88%).

"I was very surprised," said Crook County Historical Society Treasurer Phil Burgess. "I thought perhaps we might not win by the margin that we had historically (about 80%) …I did not anticipate losing the measure at all."

In a rare contested race for Crook County Treasurer, incumbent Galan Carter holds a decisive lead over challenger Monty Kurtz. Carter has won 56.54% of the initial votes compared to 42.74% for Kurtz.

Prineville psilocybin facility prohibition measure has so far been approved by 63.87% of city voters while the Crook County equivalent was approved by 66% of voters county-wide.

Incumbent Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely and Prineville Mayor Jason Beebe both won re-election, running unopposed.

In other federal and state races, the margin between Democrat Tina Kotek and Republican Christine Drazen for Oregon governor was as tight as recent polls. Kotek held a 1% advantage Tuesday night and the race stayed just as tight Wednesday morning. However, the gap widened Wednesday, prompting two statewide media outlets to name Kotek the winner. Nonaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson won just 8.89% of the vote and conceded Tuesday night.

Longtime U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D) is poised for re-election, holding an initial lead (55.16%) over Republican challenger Jo Rae Perkins (42.05%). Republican incumbent Cliff Bentz holds a commanding lead (66.84%) over Democratic Joe Yetter (33.01%) for Oregon's Second Congressional District. In the race for House District 59, which featured two Prineville residents, Republican incumbent Vikki Breese-Iverson (72.22%) holds a strong lead over Democrat Lawrence Jones (27.65%).

"I am excited to represent the folks of Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes counties in Salem next year," Iverson said Wednesday. "We have a lot of work to do and I plan on hitting the ground running."

Results on Measure 111, which requires the state to ensure access to affordable health care, are nearly even with the no votes holding a slight advantage at 50.46% on Wednesday morning. Measure 112, which removes language allowing slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime seems poised for approval with an initial margin of 54% to 45%. Measure 113, which disqualifies legislators from holding office if they have 10 or more unexcused absences, has likely passed with about 67% voter approval. And Measure 114, a gun control measure held narrow approval Tuesday with 51% of the yes votes, but the gap had closed Wednesday morning to 50.37% yes votes.

Election results from the local to the federal level remain fluid, primarily due to a change that allows ballots to be mailed in as late as Election Day as long as they are postmarked before the Nov. 8, 8 p.m. deadline.

As of Tuesday night, Crook County's turnout for 20,790 registered voters was 55.11%. But that total will likely increase. Voter turnout in Crook County has traditionally been strong in general elections, both the midterms and the presidential elections. In 2014, 73.5% of voters returned a ballot and in 2016, that percentage rose to 81.23%. Similarly, in 2018, 67.31% voted and in 2020 the turnout rose to 80.97%.

County Clerk Cheryl Seely said Wednesday morning that roughly 1,000 ballots had yet to get counted, "plus any that come in that are postmarked timely." She expects to have all the postmarked ballots processed by Nov. 16.

The Central Oregonian will continue to update results as more ballots are counted.


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