The second-place finisher in the May 19 primary election for a seat on the bench in Washington County announced Friday, June 5, he intends to "step away" from his candidacy, clearing the way for the first-place finisher to be elected in November.
Edward Kroll and two other candidates combined to hold Kelly Lemarr a few percentage points short of an outright majority on May 19. With all votes counted, Lemarr won 46% for Position 5 on the Washington County Circuit Court, while Kroll led the rest of the pack with 27.7%.
Under Oregon elections law, the result means Kroll and Lemarr are slated to appear on the ballot for the general election in November, with whoever receives the most votes at that time being elected as judge.
However, Kroll said Friday that he is bowing out.
"After much thought and discussion with my wife Max and our strongest supporters, I've made the difficult decision to step away from my candidacy for Washington County Circuit Court's 20th District, Position 5," Kroll wrote in an email to supporters.
He added, "I will continue to advocate for greater access to justice, a fairer legal system, and for accountability and transparency in our courts. ... I am proud of the campaign we ran and the awareness we raised around the key principles I mentioned above."
Kroll thanked backers for their "well-wishes, encouragement, and friendship," writing that they "have made the past six months an experience to remember, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything."
Lemarr did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.
Kroll noted that with the end of his campaign, Lemarr will serve as judge.
"I wish her well personally and professionally," he added.
Kroll is a former president of the Washington County Bar Association and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He lives in Portland.
Lemarr is a resident of Gladstone. Since 2008, she has been managing attorney for the Hillsboro branch of St. Andrew Legal Clinic.
Both Lemarr and Kroll have served as pro tempore circuit judges.
By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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