Unofficial results show Marie Teune in lead for MHCC board position
Marie Teune of Sandy is winning in her effort to unseat two-term Mt. Hood Community College board member James Zordich.
Their race appeared on the May 18 special election ballot, but has not been decided while remaining ballots are counted.
As late as the morning of May 26, Teune was trailing Zordich by 10 votes, which would have triggered an automatic recount.
But by the afternoon of May 26, when updated results were released by Clackamas County, Teune had taken a likely insurmountable lead of 332 votes.
Certification of the final results from Clackamas and Multnomah counties is expected June 7.
The most unofficial results show Teune with 4,665 votes, or 51.58% of the vote, to Zordich's 4,333 votes or 47.91% of the vote.
Teune took the lead in Clackamas County with 58.1% of the vote or 2,650 votes to Zordich's 41.26% of the vote or 1,882 vote.
But the candidate's standings were reversed in Multnomah County where Zordich leads with 54.67% of the vote or 2,451 votes to Teune's 44.95% of the vote or 2,015 votes.
Teune says she's still awaiting official word to know if she should celebrate.
"Ultimately, my purpose on the board would be to bring a Sandy voice to the board and further awareness of the college to Sandy," Teune said. "I want to make MHCC more visible in the Oregon Trail School District community again."
Teune, a real estate broker and member of the Oregon Trail School Board, says she's been seeing more Sandy students graduating and enrolling at Clackamas Community College, but she's always had an appreciation for the programs Mt. Hood offers to students of the Oregon Trail area.
She hopes to strengthen the connection between Sandy and the Gresham-based college.
"This doesn't mean I'm going to ignore the Multnomah County connection (to the college) and the Multnomah County voters. I hope to build more of a rapport with the Multnomah County communities," Teune adds. "I also want college to be attainable to more folks in our community. College was never an option for me as a high school student, so I wanted to make sure all students know college will be an option for them."
Zordich acknowledged Teune's lead, but also has plans for how he'd further support the college if reelected. He likewise commented on the need to keep community colleges accessible financially and how he's worked toward that goal in his past 25 years affiliated with the college and eight years on the board.
"I have a very strong concern about fiscal responsibility," Zordich said, adding that he himself has supplied funds to the college in the past to help with financial deficiencies. He also has championed efforts, such as the past tuition guarantee program at the college and other ways to aid students financially so as to not leave them in debt after they complete their schooling.
"Fortunately, because of COVID monies coming to colleges last year, we were able to maintain tuition this year," Zordich said, but added that he doesn't know that such a level of funding will remain after the pandemic. "I'm concerned about the fiscal security of our community college."
"I'd also like to see us get back to in-person instruction," he added. "This college was created by the community, for the community. My biggest concern is to see the continued success of Mt. Hood Community College."
As for his chances in the race, Zordich said: "All we can do is wait for certification."
Statewide voter turnout, at last report, was 26.06% for the May 18 special election, with 761,582 ballots submitted of the 2,921,563 registered voters in Oregon.
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