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Magruder in first, Dudzic in second; two to compete in general election runoff

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Margaret MagruderUpdated May 20

The race for Columbia County Board of Commissioners, position 1, will continue to the general election in November.

Incumbent Margaret Magruder stayed in the lead as votes were counted throughout Tuesday evening. Magruder finished the night with 37.2%, or 6,529 votes.

Brandee Dudzic will face Magruder directly in the general election.

Dudzic and Wayne Mayo were closely vying for second place as votes were tallied. Dudzic ultimately won out with 24.8%, compared to Mayo's 24.0%.

A fourth candidate, Tricia Stockwell, had 13.7% of the vote.

Dudzic, a St. Helens resident, filed early on to oppose Magruder. A veteran, she founded Repatriate Our Patriots, which advocates for citizenship for U.S. veterans facing deportation, and serves as vice president of the Columbia Community Mental Health board of directors. Dudzic has garnered both criticism and praise for views further to the left than the other candidates.

Mayo, a Scappoose resident, lost to Magruder for the same position in 2016 by 4.4% after a primary that saw Magruder win by just 1.4%. Two years prior, Mayo lost to incumbent commissioner Henry Heimuller by just 60 votes. He also ran but was not elected in 2012.

Mayo currently works in property management and construction, and was previously a lumber broker, according to his candidate filing form. He has previously served on the St. Helens Parks Commission and Scappoose Planning Commission.

Magruder, of Clatskanie, was elected to the commission in 2016. She has prior experience as a coordinator for the Lower Columbia River Watershed Council and is owner of Oregon Shepherd LLC and Magruder Farms. She also previously served on various local, state and national boards.

In non-partisan primaries, a candidate must receive more than half of the votes in order to win the position. If no candidate wins more than 50% of the votes, the two candidates with the most votes face off in the general election. The winner will take office in January.

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