By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Marlene Quinn admits the delay in results being posted Tuesday night was a bit stressful.
Due to late voters turning in ballots at the last minute, Marion County Elections personnel did not release initial results from Tuesday’s election until 9:30 p.m., some 90 minutes later than normal.
Ultimately the wait was worth it for Quinn, who emerged on top of a three-way battle for the Keizer City Council Position 3 race. She will be taking over the spot currently held by Mark Caillier, who did not run for re-election.
Ken LeDuc defeated write-in candidate and incumbent Position 2 councilor Brandon Smith, while Dennis Koho won an unopposed race for Position 1.
“We were not doing good until 9:30 p.m. when they posted results,” Quinn said. “It looks pretty safe. I feel pretty good about it. It was a hard-fought campaign. I worked very hard. If you have drive, it will happen.”
Initial results showed Quinn with 46 percent of the vote, for a total of 3,879 votes with 91.8 percent of precincts voting. Eamon Bishop was second with 32 percent (2,679 votes) and Matthew Chappell third with 21 percent (1,810 votes).
Overnight results showed Quinn still ahead, with 46 percent (5,037 votes). Bishop remained in second with 31 percent (3,457 votes) and Chappell in third with 22 percent (2,401 votes).
Quinn couldn’t point to one factor as the key to her win.
“It’s really hard to say,” she said. “I’ve walked Keizer with my team. I have served Keizer for 13 years in different capacities. My passion and drive and my experience with city government helped.”
Bishop was frustrated by the results.
“I’m not that upset for myself, I’m upset for Keizer,” Bishop said. “Things will just carry on the way they are happening. It did surprise me. I was surprised I wasn’t elected and that David McKane lost, too. We both thought people were hungry for a change but that’s not the way the vote came down.”
Chappell, meanwhile, was pleased with the amount of votes he received.
“I went into this thing not knowing what to expect,” Chappell said. “I didn’t have lot of experience on my side. I support Marlene. I believe she will work well on the city council. I was pleased with the support I got. I was actually surprised. I went into this not knowing if I had a lot going for me. I was happy with that result. That’s a lot of people who voted for me.”
Quinn believes voters sent a message Tuesday.
“They want change,” she said. “There were still enough people who said they wanted things to change. We do need to make a change and listen to every citizen.”
LeDuc was not the incumbent in the Position 2 race, but had a tremendous advantage—he was unopposed except for a write-in challenge from out-going Councilor Smith.
In initial results posted by the Marion County Elections division, LeDuc garnered 88 percent of the vote, or 6,640 votes. The results did not list Smith specifically as a write-in. The write-in portion gained 12 percent, or 922 votes.
Overnight results looked much the same, with LeDuc earning 88 percent (8,670 votes) and the write-in portion getting 12 percent (1,212 votes).
Smith didn’t know what to expect based on the position he was in.
“I’ve never gone through a write-in campaign,” Smith said. “I was told that was a respectable number for a write-in candidate. I don’t know if it was much of a factor. I was willing to do this and serve again. But when people look at the ballot and see just one name, a large percentage will go for that name. I tried to make the best of the situation.”
LeDuc did not respond to several messages from the Keizertimes.
Smith was thankful for all the help he got during the campaign.
“We put a ton of effort into it,” he said. “A lot of people were going door-to-door and putting up signs, spreading the word. There were a lot of people supporting me. I am humbled by the amount of support.
“We’ve done a tremendous amount of things in Keizer during my time on council,” Smith added. “The types of things we’ve been able to do, like building the community center, new businesses, Keizer Rapids Park and much more, there have been a tremendous amount of things done. Certainly it was not just me, but I will claim to be part of it.”
Koho, who ran unopposed, can now focus on getting ready to take over the seat being vacated by David McKane, who challenged and lost in the mayor’s race to Lore Christopher.
“I will try to get together with each of the outgoing councilors and get the benefit of their thinking,” said Koho, referring to McKane, Smith and Caillier. “Each of the three leaving have different points of view but they each have a wealth of experience. I’m anxious to get in and be a part of the team.”
Koho emphasized he enters council with an open mind.
“I don’t have a particular agenda to try and implement,” he said. “I just want us to work together in a professional way and be very careful about the public’s money. We have some land use manners out there. I want to listen to the public’s concerns.”