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Longtime councilor Bacon earns blowout win; District 5 race margin extremely tight


Longtime Newberg City Council member Denise Bacon has locked in another term on the city's top governing body with a commanding victory over challenger Adam McGuffie, earning another win 12 years into her time on the council.

Bacon had garnered 5,946 (64.32%) votes to Adam McGuffie's 3,257 (35.32%) votes as of Nov. 5, with minimal changes to the numbers expected in the coming weeks prior to their finalization by Yamhill County officials.

"I'm honored," Bacon said. "After 12 years, the people of Newberg still trust me to do their business, and they elected me again. It's really humbling that they feel like I've worked hard for them, because I feel like I have put citizens at the center of my work.

"COVID made the entire election process very hard. There wasn't a lot of door-knocking, and campaigns happened online for the most part. I didn't even do campaign signs and neither did my opponent, because why destroy the environment for no reason like that. I told (McGuffie) to stay involved in the city however he can because we need more people interested in local government."

In the race for Council District 5, former councilor and current Chehalem Park and Recreation District board member Mike McBride leads Mary Kunkel by just 32 votes (3,204 to 3,172), according to the county clerk's office. Nicholas Morace has earned 2,550 votes, while Shy Montoya has pulled in 693 votes.KunkelMcBride

The remaining ballots are expected to be counted in the coming days and weeks, with the final result still up in the air. Kunkel spoke to Yamhill County officials and expects more numbers to come in sooner rather than later.

"(County clerk Brian Van Bergen) said to sit tight because there are thousands of ballots in their building with signatures that haven't been verified yet," Kunkel said. "They also are not receiving ballots that were put in county drop boxes until Friday (Nov. 6). He said they are far from finalized at this point and more information is coming soon.

"I feel really grateful for all the support I've received from the community and I'm proud of what we've accomplished, so I'm looking forward to the coming days to see where things end up."

City Council District 3

Bacon has served on the council since 2009 after being elected in 2008. She was reappointed in 2013 and her term is up at the end of this year, left up to voters on Nov. 3.

Bacon is heavily involved in the community and also is the founder of Project: Children, which "provides a way to voice concern for the effects the environment has on children's health," according to her council bio on the city's website.

Bacon's is employed as a field coordinator at the Ford Family Foundation. She describes herself as a small business owner and holds two degrees from Ashford University: a bachelor's in political science and a master's in public administration. She is pursuing her doctorate at the university and only has her dissertation remaining in her studies.

McGuffie, Bacon's challenger, has an extensive academic background as well. He received a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Valley Forge before earning his master's of divinity in leadership studies at George Fox University, where he now works. McGuffie's position at GFU is Creative Content & Hybrid Learning Specialist, according to his council application.

McGuffie also brings various other professional experiences to the table, including work as a freelance digital storytelling and marketing consultant. He was a creative director at the Grace Assembly of God from 2009 to 2011, an associate pastor at Cross Road Assembly from 2013 to 2014, and the executive pastor at Family Life Church from 2015 to 2017. He has no prior government experience.

City Council District 5

Kunkel, McBride, Morace and Montoya all vied for the District 5 spot vacated by former councilor Gene Piros, who resigned July 20 due to health reasons.

Kunkel is the co-owner of Mic's Mix gluten-free flour company and bakery in Yamhill and has extensive volunteer experience in the community. She is one of the founding members and leaders of the Newberg Sustainable Solutions Group, owns M2M Doula Care and is the West Coast outreach director of the Oregon Climate Dialogues.

After graduating from Forest Grove High School, Kunkel's educational experiences include a bachelor's degree in social organization and environmental policy from the University of California-Berkeley and a graduate certificate in sustainability from Portland State University. She has no prior government experience.

McBride, who has spent 38 years as a Farmers Insurance agent in Newberg, threw his hat into the ring of candidates as well. His education includes a diploma from Newberg High School, and he has spent 35 years on the board of the Chehalem Park and Recreation District.

Unlike his opponents, McBride has spent time on the Newberg council before, serving District 3 from 2003 to 2006 until he moved out of the district.

A small business owner, Morace attended Montana State University and studied criminology. He has run for office in Newberg before, including the mayor's spot against Mayor Rick Rogers and for City Council. He has served on the Citizen's Rate Review Committee and in PCP Precinct 003, according to his application.

Montoya is administrative coordinator at CPRD and has served in that position for nearly 11 years. While she has no prior government experience, she attended Portland State University and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting.

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