Bledsoe wins county treasurer race, Post and Noble will remain in office
Kris Bledsoe will be Yamhill County's next treasurer, voters decided on Nov. 3.
Bledsoe easily outdistanced her challenger in the race, Pauletta Alexandria, with 22,237 (51.43%) votes to Alexandria's 20,816 (48.14%) share of the ballots.
"I am honored to have been elected by Yamhill County voters to serve as our next treasurer," Bledsoe said in an email. "I filed for this position 14 months ago. I filed early because I knew then what I still know now: I have the right educational background, work experience, skill set, aptitude and energy to take on the work of treasurer during these trying times."
In this race the county's voters followed a pattern found in many other local races, that of choosing a candidate in the contentious race for president then leaving the remainder of the ballot blank. In the treasurer's race, 43,240 votes were cast by the county's 73,609 registered voters, but there were a whopping 11,949 undervotes where neither candidate received a vote.
The county did see 75.12% ballots cast from those 73,609 registered voters, however.
"It has been a challenging campaign," Bledsoe said. "I am glad that it is now complete so that I can focus on my real goal of serving the county. Next week I will begin designing an entire new set of reports that will be made public online and that will be presented to the county commissioners quarterly. I will also work closely with the current Treasurer Mike Green to assure a smooth transition."
Bledsoe and Alexandria advanced to the general election after neither won a clear majority in the May primary.
Bledsoe earned 13,464 votes (48.35%), Alexandria garnered 9,513 votes (34.16%) and Katie St. Ores notched 17.49%, eliminating her from the race. In order to win the election outright, a candidate must receive 50% plus one vote.
Bledsoe is a retired financial manager who has worked as an investment advisor, private banker, bank portfolio manager and bank auditor, among other positions. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Washington, along with a degree in accounting from Golden Gate University and a master's degree in pastoral studies from Seattle University.
"The Yamhill County Treasurer manages county investment funds to ensure preservation of capital, mitigate investment risk and seek maximum return. …," she said in the Voters Pamphlet.
Bledsoe was endorsed by outgoing treasurer Michael Green, along with Yamhill County commissioners Casey Kulla and Richard Olson.
Alexandria is an investment portfolio and farm manager who lives in Carlton. She has been an investment advisor, worked at The Oregonian newspaper and has served as a business instructor at various colleges and universities. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Southern Oregon University and, according to her Voters Pamphlet information, is a certified public funds investment manager by the Public Treasurers Association of the U.S. and Canada.
She has previously served on the Yamhill County Investment Advisory Committee as well as the Marion County Planning Council, Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District and Oregon Association of County Treasurers and Finance Officers. Alexandria has the endorsement of Yamhill First PAC.
"Now more than ever, the treasurer is vitally important to the financial well-being of our county; this is no place for second-guessing," Alexandria wrote in the Voters Pamphlet. "Our treasurer must have demonstrated fixed income investment management experience. Budget constraints make our investments critical to our ability to deliver services to county residents."
Post retains House seat
Conservative radio talk show host Bill Post earned a return to the state house on Nov. 3 with a comfortable victory over Democratic challenger Ramiro Navarro. Post earned 17,408 (56.20%) of the votes, while Navarro pulled in 13,617 (43.8%) from the two counties within House District 25 — Yamhill and Marion. Votes in favor of Post in Yamhill County closely mirrored the overall count; he garnered 7,395 (54.49%) votes to Navarro's 6,150 (45.32%).
Noble will remain office
Retired police chief Ron Noble will return to the state capital with a resounding win over Democratic challenger Lynette Shaw. Noble earned 20,008 (57.90%) of the votes, while Shaw garnered 14,558 (42.10%) from the two counties within House District 25 — Yamhill and Washington. Votes in favor of Noble in Yamhill County handed him an even more impressive margin in the count; he earned 16,374 (49.02%) votes to Shaw's 11,240 (40.63%).
Bonamici earns another term, despite losing in Yamhill County
Longtime U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici overwhelmed Republican challenger Christopher Christensen in the race for 1st Congressional District. Bonamici pulled in 277,307 (64%) votes to Christensen's (150,573 (35.20%) tally.
Bonamici lost the race in the predictably Republican-leaning Yamhill County, although not by margins seen in past years. Christensen earned 26,732 (50.80%) votes to 25,799 (49.02%) for Bonamici, the closest race seen in the area in decades.
Merkley retains his Senate seat
Republican challenger Jo Rae Perkins was no match for incumbent Jeff Merkley in the race for one of Oregon's two Senate seats. Merkley garnered 1,239,836 (64.80%) votes to Perkins' 839,613 (38.80%) tally in the race. Merkley lost by 2.25% in votes cast in Yamhill County — Perkins pulled in 26,290 votes to Merkley's 25,087.
Yamhill County all red in the race for president
Conservative-leaning Yamhill County remained consistent with past presidential elections by hitching its wagon to incumbent President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election. Trump garnered 27,494 (50.20%) of the county's votes, while former Vice President Joe Biden earned 25,296 (46.19%) of the vote.
As expected, though, the traditionally blue state of Oregon was wholeheartedly in Biden's camp, handing him 1,267,170 (57.3%) votes in contrast to Trump's 893,556 (40.4%) tally.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.