The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Incumbent Trask leads council winners


November 15, 2016

Dave Trask, Lisa Gourley and James Goble will serve four-year terms on the Sweet Home City Council, while Diane Gerson will serve two after narrowly beating Andrew Allen for fourth place in voting.

The top three candidates receive four-year terms, while the fourth-place candidate serves two years.

Sweet Home voters also turned down a prohibition on the processing and sale of marijuana and approved a 3-percent tax on marijuana sales in the Nov. 8 election.

Election results are from 12:54 a.m. on Nov. 9. The numbers could change slightly as Linn County receives ballots turned in at other counties.

Countywide, Linn County voters cast 58,103 ballots, 74.52 percent of total registered voters.

City Council

Trask, Goble and Gerson are incumbent city councilors. Lisa Gourley is a newcomer, but is married to Mayor Jim Gourley, who will depart the council on Dec. 31 after serving for some 24 years.

Trask finished with the largest number of votes, with 1,507, of 3,622 ballots cast in Sweet Home.

Lisa Gourley finished with 1,410 votes.

Goble received 1,289 votes, and Gerson received 1,083 votes, 11 more than Allen, who received 1,072.

Finishing sixth was Theresa Howard with 947 votes. Susan Coleman finished seventh with 914 votes, and Lisa Pye finished eighth with 736 votes.

Voters wrote in other names 112 times.

On the ballot, voters could select up to four candidates to serve on the council. With the 3,622 ballots cast in Sweet Home, it allowed voters a total of 14,488 selections to be divided among the eight candidates for four positions.

As it stood, voters left 5,382 blanks on their ballots in the City Council election, and 36 voters, one-quarter of a percent, selected too many candidates.

Marijuana Measures

Voters turned down a measure prohibiting any new medical marijuana outlets 2,004, 55.3 percent, votes to 1,479, 40.83 percent, with 132 not voting and seven voting both yes and no.

Voters also turned down a measure prohibiting the processing and retail sale of marijuana in Sweet Home 1,901 votes, 52.48 percent, to 1,570 votes, 43.35 percent with 151 voters not casting ballots for or against.

Voters approved a 3-percent tax on sales of recreational marijuana 2,651, 73.19 percent, to 830, 22.92 percent.

Oregon voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014, permitting the sale and use of recreational marijuana.

Several jurisdictions where local voting percentages were opposed to legalization explored ways to limit or prohibit the sale of marijuana. Sweet Home City Council was among them.

Last year, the council took advantage of a new state law passed in the 2015 legislative session that allowed it to prohibit the processing and sale of marijuana until November when voters could decide whether to allow the sales locally.

Countywide, voters decided against prohibiting the sale of marijuana 29,946 votes, 51.54 percent to 25,787 votes, 44.38 percent, with 2,283 not voting on the measure and 87 voting both yes and no.

State Legislature

For state House District 11, incumbent Democrat Phil Barnhart won re-election 17,200 votes, 53.34 percent, against Joe Potwara, who had 14,973 votes, 46.44 percent.

In Linn County, Potwara drew more votes, with 4,996, 63.78 percent, to 2,184, 27.88 percent, for Barnhart.

District 11 includes the area southwest of the Sweet Home city limits, including Holley, Crawfordsville and Brownsville, as well as portions of Springfield and Eugene.

Incumbent Republican Sherrie Sprenger won 78 percent of the vote, 22,093 votes. Her challenger, Sweet Home resident Jeff Goodwin, Independent Party, won 20 percent of the vote, 5,886.

In Linn County, Sprenger won 16,522 votes, 70.06 percent, to 4,422 votes, 18.64 percent.

District 17 includes Sweet Home, Lebanon, Stayton and small towns in eastern Marion and Linn counties.

In Senate District 9, incumbent Republican Fred Girod won with 68 percent of the vote, 38,934, against Democrat challenger Rich Harisay, who had 26 percent of the vote, 15,145 votes. Libertarian challenger Jack Stillwell drew 4 percent, 2,330 votes.

In Linn County, Girod led with 15,133 votes, 63.78 percent. Harisay received 5,357 votes, 22.58 percent, and Stillwell received 972 votes, 4.1 percent.

District 9 includes House District 17 and House District 18, areas north of Stayton through Silverton and Clackamas County.

County Elections

Running unopposed and retaining their seats on the Linn County Board of Commissioners were Roger Nyquist and Will Tucker. Also unopposed, Michelle K. Hawkins was reelected as county treasurer.

State Elections

Democrat Gov. Kate Brown won re-election 952,364, 50 percent, to 820,345, 43 percent, against Republican Bud Pierce.

Winning 2 percent or less were Libertarian James Foster, Cliff Thomason for the Independent Party and Aaron Donald Auer of the Constitution Party. Linn County preferred Pierce 33,740, 58.07 percent, to 18,603, 32.02 percent.

Republican Dennis Richardson defeated Democrat Brad Avakian 866,493, 47 percent, to 786,772, 43 percent, for secretary of state. Candidates receiving 3 percent or less included Paul Damian Wells of the Independent Party, Libertarian Sharon L. Durbin, Alan Zundel of the Green Party and Michael Marsh of the Constitution Party. Linn County voted 33,036, 56.86 percent, to 15,557, 26.77 percent.

Democrat Dobias Read won state treasurer with 783,158 votes, 43 percent, against Republican Jeff Gudman, 743,417 votes, 41 percent. Chris Telfer of the Independent Party received 168,228 votes, 9 percent, and Progressive Chris Henry received 86,254 votes, 4 percent.

Linn County voted in Gudman’s favor 29,654, 51.04 percent, to 16,130, 27.76 percent for Read. Telfer received 8.13 percent, 4,722 votes, and Henry received 3.86 percent, 2,241 votes.

For attorney general, Democrat Ellen Rosenblum won 978,903 votes, 54 percent, to 743,800 votes, 41 percent for Daniel Zene Crowe. Libertarian Lars D. H. Hedbor won 55,810 votes, 3 percent.

In Linn County, Crowe won 30,044 votes, 51.71 percent, while Rosenblum received 20,510 votes, 35.3 percent. Hedbor received 1,921 votes, 3.31 percent.

National Elections

For president of the United States, Linn County voted 32,683, 56.25 percent, for Donald Trump to 17,456, 30.04 percent for Hillary Clinton. Trump won the election statewide and nationally.

In the county, Libertarian Gary Johnson received 3,301 votes, 5.68 percent, and Jill Stein of the Green Party received 1,284 votes, 2.21 percent.

For senate, Republican Mark Callahan won 26,348 votes, 45.35 percent, in Linn County. Democrat incumbent Ron Wyden received 23,308 votes, 40.11 percent. Also receiving votes were Libertarian Jim Lindsay and Shanti S. Lewallen of the Working Families Party. Wyden won the election statewide.

In the Fourth Congressional District, Democrat incumbent Peter A. DeFazio won reelection with 216,461 votes, 55, percent. Art Robinson received 155,291 votes, 39 percent.

Receiving 3 percent or less were Mike Beilstein of the Pacific Green Party and Libertarian Gil Guthrie. In Linn County, Robinson received 28,971 votes, 49.86 percent. DeFazio received 24,286 votes, 41.8 percent.

Statewide Measures

Measure 94, eliminating mandatory retirement for state judges, failed 63 percent to 36 percent. The measure failed in Linn County 66 percent to 29 percent.

Measure 95, allowing investments in equities by public universities, passed 70 percent to 29 percent. In Linn County, the measure passed 59 percent to 33 percent.

Measure 96, dedicating 1.5 percent of state lottery proceeds to veteran support services, passed 83 percent to 16 percent. Linn County voters passed this measure 81 percent to 14 percent.

Measure 97, increasing the gross revenues tax on corporations, failed 59 percent to 40 percent. Linn County denied this measure 70 percent to 27 percent.

Measure 98, requiring the state to fund drop-out prevention and college readiness programs, passed 65 percent to 34 percent. Linn County passed the measure 58 percent to 37 percent.

Measure 99, creating an outdoor school education fund, passed 66 percent to 33 percent. Linn County approved the measure 58 percent to 37 percent.

Measure 100, prohibiting the purchase and sale of parts and products from certain wildlife species, passed 69 percent to 30 percent. Linn County approved the measure 54 percent to 39 percent.


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