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John Budiao only a handful of votes behind West in early returns, Lehan maintains strong lead

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Charlotte Lehan (right), who appears poised to keep her seat on Wilsonville City Council, attended an election party at Vanguard Brewing Tuesday night.

According to early results, Wilsonville citizens elected one representative each from the two campaigning blocks in the four-person race for two open spots on Wilsonville City Council, with a spare 42 votes separating the number two and number three finishers.

As of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, registered nurse Ben West had won 23.5 percent of the vote while Lehan had garnered 32 percent. Budiao is a close third, with 23.14 percent and Davis 22 percent. Lehan will keep her seat while West looks to be installed on the council after Council President Scott Starr steps down.

Lehan believes the results are an affirmation of the current Council's vision for the city.

"I'm very pleased for the showing that Wilsonville has (had) for me, that they understand the importance of what we've done so far and are committed to continuing what we've done to make Wilsonville wonderful, to make Wilsonville the place that a lot of people want to be, a lot of businesses want to be," Lehan said. "That has taken a lot of work and I think it is a recognition that they want to continue that trajectory."

Lehan, who aligned with Davis, has been a staple of Wilsonville politics since 1991, serving as Mayor and as a city councilor for the vast majority of that period. Some of Lehan's forward-looking initiatives include fast tracking funding for a southbound auxiliary lane on I-5 to help quell traffic and facilitating development in Villebois as well as Frog Pond East and South, if the proposed residential areas are added to the urban growth boundary.

"I think it (the results) shows that the voters don't know them (the other three candidates) very well and they don't know what they really stand for and so they are a little bit undecided amongst the three of them is what it looks like to me," Lehan said.

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - John Budiao (left) and Ben West (right) were neck and neck based on early election results Tuesday night.

West who aligned with Budiao, believes the current Council has pushed for too much growth in the city and that the worsening traffic in the City has been a side effect. He's also against the proposed bike and pedestrian bridge over I-5, the French Prairie Bridge across the Willamette River and the Boeckman Dip Bridge and in favor of the push to extend the Aurora Airport runway.

West and Budiao expressed positivity after the results came in despite realizing that they likely won't share the council together.

"Running for office is tough. It's tough on your family and to have somebody that became like a brother to you and built a friendship (with) made it a lot easier," West said. "I'll be sad if he doesn't win because I think he would be an amazing city councilor."

"We gave it all we could and I love Wilsonville enough to say 'Hey I ran. This is their decision. It's been great,'" Budiao said.

Davis is a member of the Wilsonville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and would have been the lone renter on Wilsonville City Council while West runs a foster care advocacy nonprofit and waged a late write-in campaign against Mayor Tim Knapp in 2016 and Budiao is a longtime volunteer in Wilsonville and Air Force veteran.

"I tried to be very positive. I think David tried to be very positive. We tried to run a positive campaign that wasn't sniping at anybody else and so I'm proud of that," Lehan said."I'm proud of how the campaign went and I look forward to serving the city of Wilsonville going forward."

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