LINCOLN COUNTY — Tuesday, March 10, was the filing deadline for candidates to appear on the ballot for Oregon’s May 19 primary election.
The Lincoln County Clerk’s Office has a complete listing of all the candidates who have filed for office, and it can be found online at www.co.lincoln.or.us/clerk.
The office of Lincoln County Commissioner, Position 2, a four-year term, has generated the greatest level of interest among local candidates. This is a nonpartisan race, in which incumbent Claire Hall will face four challengers — David Davis, Joe Hitselberger, Edward Johnston and Betty Kamikawa.
Lincoln County Clerk Dana Jenkins pointed out that should one of these five candidates receive more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary election, they will be declared the winner. However, if no one exceeds the 50 percent mark, then the top two vote getters will move on to the November general election, where the winner will be decided.
Also on the primary ballot is the position of Lincoln County District Attorney, a four-year term. This race is a bit different because the person currently serving as DA, Jonathan Cable, was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown earlier this year to fill a vacancy created by the resignation last fall of former DA Michelle Branum. Cable will face Lanee Danforth and Kenneth R. Park in the primary election.
“If there would have been only two people running, it would have skipped the primary and gone to the general election,” said Jenkins. “But since there’s three, then they do have to run in the primary, and the top two will go to the general — unless one of them gets over 50 percent. If one does get over 50 percent, then that person would go alone.”
Jenkins admits the election regulations can be confusing at times, and an example of this is in the contested races for two Lincoln County Circuit Court judges.
One of these races is for circuit court judge, position 1, a six-year term. Incumbent Sheryl Bachart will face challenger Russell Baldwin, and the winner will be determined in the primary election.
However, county voters will also be voting on circuit court judge, position 2, but that race won’t be on the ballot until November. That’s because this was a special circumstance, with a vacancy being created by the resignation of Judge Paulette Sanders. Gov. Brown appointed Marcia Buckley to fill that position on the court, and she will face challenger Amanda Benjamin, who currently serves as judge pro tem for Lincoln County.
“Since there were only two candidates that filed, they are automatically nominated to the general election,” explained Jenkins.
In addition to these county races, Lincoln County voters will cast ballots for a number of state and federal positions.
Jenkins said as of yet, there are no local measures on the May primary ballot, however, the deadline for placing a measure on the ballot is March 19.
“We could still have a city file something possibly, but I haven’t heard of anything,” he said.
One new thing that all voters in Oregon will see in the upcoming election is pre-paid postage on the envelope for mailing in ballots, which was approved by the Oregon Legislature last year.
“This will be the first time for Oregon voters … the people who mail them, they won’t have to put a stamp on them,” said Jenkins.
Also new for this next election is a drive-up drop box in Toledo.
“We have a brand new drive-up ballot box in Toledo at the police station,” said Jenkins. “So that one joins the one we have at the courthouse here in Newport and the ones we have at city hall in Lincoln City and at city hall in Waldport.”
Ballots for the May 19 primary election will be mailed on April 29. The voters’ pamphlet, which is mailed out by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, will be sent out about a week prior to that, Jenkins said.