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Initial election results show Kellie Jo Smith leading Kelly Niles with 65.2% of the vote.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Kellie Jo SmithUpdated 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Kellie Jo Smith is leading the race for Columbia County Commissioner, position 2, by more than 30 points, election night results show.

Final election night results were released after midnight Wednesday, Nov. 9, but roughly 6,800 ballots have been received but have yet to be tallied.

Smith holds 65.2% of the vote in initial returns to 34% for Kelly Niles.

Smith and Niles were the top two candidates in the May primary, with Smith receiving 35.3% of the votes and Niles receiving 30%.

The winner will take the position currently held by Henry Heimuller, who did not seek another term.

The three-person county board of commissioners also includes Casey Garrett and Margaret Magruder, who will be up for election in 2024.

Smith is a current St. Helens School District board member and the owner of a local bowling alley. Niles is a wildland fire supervisor with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

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