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As a challenger, Dan Berge had questioned McGriff's right to run for the office she currently holds

PMG PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Oregon City Mayor Denyse McGriff celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Arch Bridge's construction on Oct. 1, when ODOT closed the bridge for a special event.Oregon City Mayor Denyse McGriff is heading toward another overwhelming victory at the ballot box, with more than 67% of the initial Nov. 8 count of ballots swinging in her favor.

McGriff's commanding lead held as additional votes were counted by 11 p.m. on election night.

A former city planner, McGriff chaired the McLoughlin Neighborhood Association and served on the city's Planning Commission prior to being picked as a city commissioner. She continues to serve in various community board positions both in the city and regionally.

With 79.4% of the vote, McGriff easily won the Oregon City special mayoral election on Aug. 23, when there were four candidates on the ballot.

McGriff made Oregon City history a third time with her mayoral election, first with her appointment by city commissioners in March 2019 to become the first person of color to serve on the Oregon City Commission, and second by having earned the support of voters in November 2020 to serve a full four-year term as a commissioner. During her mayoral swearing-in ceremony on Sept. 21, McGriff said that the historic significance of the event wasn't lost on her.

"I'm proud to volunteer my time, my talents and my heart to the city of Oregon City," McGriff said. "We are not afraid to push the boundaries to benefit Oregon City, but we will do it within the confines of the law."

Oregon City's attorney disagreed with a request by mayoral challenger Dan Berge to disqualify McGriff from running in the November election.

Oregon City's charter says that candidates are eligible if they haven't been elected to "two terms of four years in the previous 10 years." McGriff, who was elected to a four-year term for city commissioner in 2020, recently won a special election for the final few months of a mayoral term and now seeks a full four-year term as mayor.

"Given that Ms. McGriff has only been elected to an office for one term of four years in the previous 10 years, Ms. McGriff remains eligible to run for the office of mayor at the November 2022 general election," wrote Oregon City attorney William Kabeiseman to Berge in a Sept. 26 memo.

Berge owns a limited-liability company called Berge NW, which he says he keeps active in case he wants to return to farming, although he's currently retired. In 2018, a county circuit judge granted a restraining order against Berge to prevent him from damaging legal cannabis plants or interfering with a tenant's property after Berge padlocked the area and threatened to burn up his tenant's $200,000 worth of cannabis plants.

Berge said that he "probably shouldn't have" threatened to burn the tenant's plants.


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