By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Keizer’s first mayoral race in a decade ended with a familiar name on top.
Incumbent Lore Christopher retained her mayoral seat Tuesday night, holding off a strong challenge from current Keizer City Councilor David McKane.
Christopher, who became Keizer’s first female mayor in 2001, had 56 percent of the votes in the initial results, or 5,610 votes. McKane had 43 percent, or 4,337 votes.
The gap widened slightly overnight, with Christopher up to 56 percent (7,447 votes) versus 43 percent (5,664 votes) for McKane.
“I am so, so grateful the people in Keizer are trusting me for two more years,” Christopher said shortly after the Marion County Elections division finally published initial results. “I will work my butt off to make sure we are moving Keizer forward. I am so excited. We didn’t have any applications for subdivisions for three years; now we’ve had five in the last five months.
“We are going to see positive development in (Keizer Station) Area D and a gas station and hotel in Area A,” Christopher added. “I don’t know about Area C, but I believe the remand will be settled in the next few months. I’m excited. In 24 months we can do significant things.”
McKane accepted the results.
“I’m honestly a little disappointed,” he said. “But I’ve got to tell you, Keizer had a choice and that was a good thing. Obviously I was hoping for a different outcome. It was a tough road to hoe. It is a difficult time and I didn’t have resources, plus some incorrect statements were made. But I got to meet a lot of people.
“It’s always tough to beat an incumbent,” McKane added. “I’ve been on council eight years, but she’s been involved more than a dozen years. The key was she got her name out with advertising. That helped quite a bit, but I don’t know how much of a difference it made.”
Christopher was quick to compliment McKane and encouraged him to stay active in helping the community.
“David McKane is part of our future,” she said. “He won’t be forgotten. I hope he’ll be part of a task force to help move forward some of the concerns he had. I would love him to be part of the answer.
“He’s absolutely been part of the seven-person team making the decisions,” Christopher added. “That’s part of reason he garnered so much of the vote. I’m a recruiter by trade. When I look to hire people, I look to past successes. Both of us could have been successful. A two-year term is a short amount of time to get things moving. Having a stable mayor can get things moving quickly.”
Christopher said the other thing she took from the results was a desire among Keizer voters.
“There was a 13-point spread,” she said. “That means a significant amount of people are wanting change. I won’t be mayor for life. The way needs to be paved for the next person.”
McKane has served on the council since 2005. He gave up the chance to defend his position 1 seat to run for mayor and thus will step down in January. Dennis Koho ran unopposed to win McKane’s seat.
McKane said he talked to Christopher Wednesday morning about her proposed task force, which he’s waiting to hear more about.
“If it is something worthy, I’ll be happy to get involved,” he said. “I would hope the three new city councilors will have an opportunity to make some positive change. It will be fine. I hope the council recognizes and wants to make the 43 percent (that voted for McKane) comfortable. If that’s the purpose of the task force, that’s a good thing.”