Just under 93 percent of the registered voters in Jackson County voted in this election. Of the 119,626 registered, 98,935 marked their ballots and got them in the mail or to one of several drop boxes around the county by 8 p.m. Nov. 4.
Some decisions were not final both locally and statewide until a day or even two days after election day. Finally on Thursday, Nov. 6, Senator Gordon Smith conceded to Jeff Merkely. Smith, a Republican, has been in the U.S. Senate for two terms. Merkley, who has been speaker of the Oregon House, and Smith were neck-to-neck in Oregon’s most expensive campaign. Both the national Democratic Party and the Republican National Party spent millions on the campaign. By some estimates, the total spent on that campaign was $40 million.
In Jackson County, it was the contest for position 2 Jackson County Commissioner, position 6 Judge Circuit Court 1st District and the State Representative for 6th District (Medford area) between incumbent Republican Sal Esquivel and first time candidate, Democrat Lynn Howe that kept people watching the votes shift first one way, then the other. In the end, incumbent C.W. Smith captured 54 percent of the vote while Jim Olney came away with just under 49 percent in the commissioners race. Tim Barnack edged Doug McGeary 51+ percent to McGeary’s 48 percent for Judge Circuit Court 1st District, Position 6 and Esquivel retained his seat with 53+ percent to Howe’s 46+ percent of the votes.
Lisa Grief will be seated as Judge of Circuit Court Position 8 with 52 percent of the votes over Joe Charter who had just under 48 percent. Chris Walker had 59+ percent over Colleen Roberts with 40 percent for Jackson County Clerk.
Senator Doug Whitsett, District 28, and Repr. George Gilman will return to the Oregon legislature. Eagle Point Mayor Leon Sherman, councilors Pat Jacobson, Alan Curriston and Mike Parker will all remain for another term. None of these candidates had anyone running against them.
Peter Buckley and Dennis Richardson won easily over their opponents, as did Jason Atkinson.
Ballot Measure results
Measure 54-Amends constitution: Standardizes voting age for school board elections-
Yes- 73%- 1,126,179 Yes-73%- 64,473
No- 27%- 424,243 No- 27%- 24, 144
Measure 55- Amends constitution- changes operative date of redistricting plans, allows affected legislator to finish term in original district.
Yes- 77%- 1,180,383 Yes- 79%- 69,176
No- 23%- 343,331 No- 21%- 18,886
Measure 56- Amends Constitution:- Provides May & Nov. Property tax elections are decided by majority of those voting.
Yes- 57%- 902,690 Yes- 53%-48,408
No- 43% 694,609 No- 47%- 43,409
Measure 57-Increases sentences for theft against elderly, identity theft, requires addiction treatment for certain offenders.
Yes- 61% 998,224 Yes-58% 53,263
No- 39% 627,818 No- 42%- 39,097
Measure 58- Prohibits teaching language other than English in schools for more than 2 yrs.
Yes- 45% 727,672 Yes- 47% 43,596
No- 55% 906,741 No- 53% 49,794
Measure 59-Creates unlimited deduction for federal income tax on Ore. income tax returns.
Yes- 37% 597,161 Yes-39% 36,108
No-63% 1,005,460 No- 61% 55,674
Measure 60- Classroom performance, not seniority determines teacher raises, most qualified retained, regardless of seniority.
Yes-40% 650,356 Yes-40% 37,600
No-60% 992,972 No- 60% 56.175
*Measure 61- Creates mandatory minimum prison sentences for various crimes
Yes-49.53% 810,250 Yes-49% 45,806
No- 50.47% 825,514 No- 51% 47,213
As of Friday noon Nov. 7, too close to call.
Measure 62- Amends constitution: Allocates 15% lottery proceeds to public safety.
Yes- 40% 650,817 Yes- 40% 36,925
No- 60% 960,648 No- 60% 55,203
Measure 63- Exempts specified property owners from building permits for improvements under $35,000
Yes- 46% 739,947 Yes- 53% 48,756
No- 54% 874,811 No- 47% 43,730
Measure 64- Penalizes person, entity for using funds collected with “public resource” for “political purpose.”
Yes- 49% 787,862 Yes-52% 47,834
No- 51% 804,852 No- 47% 43,588
Measure 65- Changes general election nomination process for major/minor party, independent candidates for most partisan offices.
Yes- 34% 521,293 Yes- 30% 26,149
N0- 66% 1,009,925 No- 70% 61,045
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent