Cate wins GOP primary as Sword concedes race

Jami Cate is officially the winner of the Republican primary race for the Oregon House District 17 seat.

Scott Sword, who trailed Cate by 34 votes going into last week, announced early Friday morning, June 5, that he was conceding.

“I am sorry to announce I have contacted Jami Cate and conceded the election. With all the votes counted, we lost by 33, which is outside of the auto recount margin,” Sword wrote in a Facebook post.

Final results, posted Friday by the Oregon Secretary of State elections office, had Cate, of Lebanon, with 2,903 votes, or 26.65 percent of the 10,895 votes cast. Sword, of Sublimity, finished with 2,870, 26.34 percent.

Tim Kirsch of Mill City was third, with 1,715 votes, 15.74 percent, followed by Bruce Cuff of Lyons/Mehama (1,414, 12.98 percent), Susan Coleman of Sweet Home (1,004, 9.22 percent) and Dylan Richards of Sweet Home (952, 8.74 percent).

Cate will face Democrat Paige Hook of Stayton, who was unchallenged in the primary election, in November’s election.

“I think just that these occasional close races serve as a great reminder to people to never think their vote doesn’t matter,” Cate said. “There was a great field of Republican candidates in this race, and it was an honor to campaign alongside all of them. I’m looking forward to the spirited discussions ahead in the general, and am humbled to be the party’s nominee to represent House District 17.”

Sword vowed to “continue to be a voice for rural Oregon and its residents I love.”

“I hope to be an advocate for not just farmers and loggers but for all industries and especially for the wage earners employed by small businesses so desperately needing help.

“I will continue to fight for state troopers wanting nothing except more help on the roads as our governor continues to cut back funding to a point their safety is being compromised.

“I will help the ranchers between Scio and Sweet Home watching their flocks and herds being decimated by predators because of funding cuts for wildlife officials and poor public policies. And I will stand strong with Timber Unity and work to stop the tyranny of the Super Majority.

Thanks to all for the support, encouragement, donations, votes, prayers, and love. I am not going anywhere and who knows, you may see my name on a ballot again sometime in the future.”