Shiratori, Sloop in tight battle for school board spot
UPDATE: Clackamas County election officials said the next batch of election results isn't expected until late Wednesday afternoon.
Louis Taylor and Kirsten Wyatt hold significant leads in the races for positions 1 and 3 on the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board, while Seiji Shiratori and Kelly Sloop are separated by less than 100 votes in the race for position 5 based on early returns from Clackamas County Tuesday night.
Taylor ran unopposed for position 1, which is held by outgoing board chair Regan Molatore. Early returns from the county showed Taylor with 98% of the vote.
A West Linn resident, Taylor has two daughters in the school district. He said they were his main motivation for running for school board.
"We are people of color in the community. I wanted to have a role in policy design when we're talking about diversity, equity and inclusion," Taylor said in an earlier interview.
Wyatt faced off with Craig Tiffany in the race to replace outgoing board member Dylan Hydes at position 3, though Tiffany opted not to run a campaign after filing for the race. A write-in candidate, Heidi Klein, also emerged in the race. Based on early returns from Clackamas County, Wyatt held 71% of the vote while 17% of the votes were write-ins and Tiffany garnered 12% of the vote.
"I'm excited to serve West Linn and Wilsonville students and their families. It's been a challenging year for our schools but we will come out of this stronger and more resilient than before," Wyatt said. "I'm very thankful for all of the families who stepped up and got involved with this year's school board race. It's indicative of how much our communities value our schools."
In the race to replace outgoing board member Ginger Fitch at position 5, Shiratori had a narrow lead of 47% compared to Sloop's 46%. A third candidate, David D. Jones, garnered 6% of the vote based on the early returns.
"I'm not totally sure what to think because it's so early. As far as I can tell it looks like the percent of votes that have been counted is still pretty low. So, I would say there's a lot of unknowns right now," Shiratori said.
Sloop did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.
Small portions of Wilsonville are located in Washington County, and with the Oregon Secretary of State Office website facing technical difficulties those results were not immediately available when returns were reported just after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
This story will be updated.
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