Chapman and Miller in tight race for circuit court judge
As of Friday night, Jennifer Chapman held a lead of 130 votes over Lisl Miller for Yamhill County Circuit Court judge, 18,547 to 18,417.
The results of the race — to replace retiring Judge Ronald Stone in Oregon's 25th District — have not yet been finalized. Overall turnout in Yamhill County is currently just over 68 percent.
According to the clerk's office, Yamhill County has "a lot" of ballots left to count, and results won't be officially finalized until 21 days after the election. Under Oregon law, a recount will not be automatically triggered unless the margin between the two candidates is at or below 0.2 percent. Chapman currently holds 50.03 percent of the vote compared to Miller's 49.68 percent, a difference of 0.35 percent.
Chapman grew up in Garland, Texas and moved to McMinnville in 2005. According to her campaign website, she graduated from the Lewis & Clark Law School and was admitted to the Oregon bar in 2003. She later served as an assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice, and in 2011 she took a job as legal counsel for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Lisl Miller, born in Corvallis, grew up on a farm near Salem. She also attended Lewis & Clark for law school — graduating in 1993 — and has served as the deputy district attorney in Yamhill County since 2003, according to her campaign.
Both candidates brought experienced and applicable résumés into the 2018 circuit court election, and now they both wait until the finalized results determine the future of their law careers. Theirs is the closest race in the county outside of city council races, and the finalized results are expected on or before Nov. 27.
Before they advanced to the general election, Miller won the five-candidate primary with 33.9 percent of the vote, while Chapman finished second at 24.6 percent. Stone will retire effective Dec. 31, with either Chapman or Miller taking his place in January.