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Thurston wins in landslide, voters reject county administrator

Staff writer

Lou Thurston was a runaway winner for Hillsboro mayor Tuesday, taking 520 votes over Charlotte Kennedy Takahashi’s 200 votes.

“We’re extremely excited and also very humbled by the turnout,” Thurston said. “We’re looking forward to serving the people of Hillsboro.”

Takahashi did not answer a call from the Star-Journal, but a call was quickly returned to the paper by someone else calling on her behalf. Takahashi declined to comment, the caller said.

Hillsboro precinct voting at Hillsboro United Methodist Church included 765 voters of 2,260 registered voters, a turnout of 34 percent. Hillsboro’s second district had the highest turnout at 40 percent.

Voters gave a thumbs-down to hiring a county administrator, with 1,192 voting no and 962 voting yes.

County-wide, 2,336 of 7,840 registered voters participated in the election, a turnout of 30 percent. Of those, 274 people voted early.

State lawmakers moved local elections to the fall in an attempt to increase voter turnout.

Asked for comment on the administrator question, county commission chair Randy Dallke would only say, “The voters have spoken.”

In other contested races, Kenneth Hoffman edged out John Branson 42-30 for Florence city council ward 1, and Matt Williams handily beat out Natasha Brenzikofer-Craig 57-6 for ward 2. Brenzikofer-Craig only recently moved to Burns and would have been ineligible to serve.

Incumbent mayor Bob Gayle won 88 votes. Votes for write-in candidate Dan Ludwig were not available Tuesday night.

Evan Esau, with 66 votes, and Duane Adrian, with 58 votes, nudged out Michael Jost’s 40 votes for Goessel city council.

Peabody incumbent Larry Larsen retained his mayoral position with 93 votes, besting Steve Rose’s 61 votes.

Four of Ramona city council’s five positions will go to Mark Lockhart with 26 votes, Arthur Stroda with 25 votes, Billy Alcorn with 25 votes, and Benjamin Calvert with 19 votes. Rohani Alcorn and Jayme Brunner tied with 18 votes each for the remaining one position.

Peabody-Burns USD 398 seats were won by Tiana Gaines with 207 votes, Shayla Clark with 192 votes, and Julia Ensminger with 165 votes. Coming in last was Hope Reynolds with 118 votes.

Election results won’t be official until county commissioners canvass the votes on Monday.

Last modified Nov. 8, 2017

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