Berschauer the victor in Yamhill County commissioner race
Shifting the balance of power on the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners back toward a conservative ideological bent, Republican consultant and Carlton resident Lindsay Berschauer took home a decisive victory in the May 19 election.
The commissioner spot up for grabs is being vacated by longtime public servant Rick Olson, who is retiring from the position at the end of his current term.
Berschauer garnered 52.24 percent of the nearly 32,000 votes cast, according to the county's unofficial final results. Trailing in second place was Barbara Boyer with 40.67 percent of the vote. Newberg resident David Wall finished a distant third at 7.08 percent.
"I am so humbled to be elected Yamhill County commissioner," Berschauer said in a press release after her victory. "It is a privilege to serve our residents in this capacity. I ran as the voice of our working class and agricultural families. My back-to-basics message about keeping taxes low and prioritizing spending resonated with voters across party lines … Now more than ever, our local government needs to use the full force of its policy-making authority to open our county up for new job creation."
The spot on the commission is intended to be a nonpartisan post and Berschauer will join chairman Casey Kulla and Mary Starrett on the three-person board, which is charged with managing the county's $150 million budget and making key decisions on behalf of the more than 107,000 residents of the county.
Boyer, a self-proclaimed independent, is a decades-long farmer in Yamhill County and served for eight years on the state board of agriculture – including some time as chairwoman. She also spent 16 years on the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation Board, chairing it for 12 years.
The commissioner's race was a heated one, with Boyer's criminal history laid bare in an attack ad sent to voters in a mailer earlier this month. Those associated with the funding and distribution of the mailer had ties to Berschauer and the GOP.
"I am the real winner as I leave the campaign season with my integrity knowing my team ran an honest campaign based on issues," Boyer said in an email on Thursday.
Berschauer is a Republican political consultant with years of experience working for GOP candidates and issues across the state. She also appeared on local ballots bidding for a spot on the Republican Precinct Committee and won that spot handily over her peers.
Berschauer's campaign for county commissioner centered on lowering taxes, protecting seniors and aiming to strengthen personal property and gun rights. She said in her press release that she plans to get started on her work advocating for these causes before she is sworn into office in January.
"It's not too soon to get started and it will take time to build coalitions around the county to effectively work on these goals," Berschauer said in the release. "I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work ahead of being sworn in next year."
Another contested position on the ballot in the May 19 election was the role of Yamhill County treasurer. Kris Bledsoe won that race with 48.47 percent of the vote. Paulette Alexandria finished second at 34.13 percent.
Derrick Wharff ran unopposed for the Yamhill County Assessor spot and will take office with Berschauer and Bledsoe in January.
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