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As of Nov. 6, former mayor Rick Olmsted holds a 234-226 lead over current mayor Brad Oxenford

COURTESY PHOTOS - Former Donald Mayor Rick Olmsted (left) holds an eight-vote lead over current Mayor Brad Oxenford (right).It doesn't get much closer than this.

With the final absentee ballots being tallied a week after the Nov. 3 election deadline, former Donald Mayor Rick Olmsted is on the verge of taking back the seat he once held.

As Marion County counted the last few remaining ballots, Olmsted held a 234-226 lead over current mayor Brad Oxenford.

It is the second consecutive race between the two rivals that has come down to the wire in the rural city just west of I-5. Oxenford defeated the incumbent Olmsted by a 17-vote margin in 2018, but the tables appear to have flipped in the electoral rematch.

After the initial votes were tallied on election night, Nov. 3, Olmsted held a relatively robust double-digit lead over Oxenford. But by the next morning, Olmsted's lead had shrunk to just five votes. Upon the updated count on Nov. 5, Oxenford had leapt to the front of the race by a razor-thin 204-201 advantage.

But Friday's update by Marion County flipped the two candidates again, giving Olmsted an eight-vote advantage by Nov. 6. The county is expected to make another update on Tuesday, Nov. 10, that will likely determine the outcome of the race.

While the margins may be small, the eight votes still represent a difference of more than 1.5%, falling outside the threshold for an automatic recount.

Of the 528 ballots thus far cast in Donald, 62 voters did not check a box in the mayoral race and six more wrote in their own candidates.

Elsewhere on the ballot, the Donald City Council will see a pair of new members with Lauren Ostrander (271 votes) and Amanda McCracken (267 votes) garnering the most votes in the race for the three open seats.

Incumbent councilor Rod Scott took home 244 votes, while incumbent councilor Sheryl Glenn was the odd candidate out with 231 votes.

Council President Gloria Nicholson did not file to retain her seat.

DONALD 2020 ELECTION

Mayor

Rick Olmsted — 234 (50.87%)

Brad Oxenford — 226 (49.13%)

City Council (Vote for three)

Lauren Ostrander — 271 (26.75%)

Amanda McCracken — 267 (26.36%)

Rod Scott — 244 (24.09%)

Sheryl Glenn — 231 (22.80%)


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