Elections, politics, Washington County

The primaries: What you need to know

The May 19 voters’ pamphlet. Photo: Chas Hundley

OREGON – Registered voters must cast their vote by 8 p.m. on May 19 to be counted in the upcoming May primary election.

According to the Oregon Secretary of State, 17% of eligible voters in Washington County had sent in a ballot as of press time.

Wednesday is the last day your ballot is guaranteed to reach the elections office in time if it is mailed; as such, the Washington County elections office asks voters to drop their ballot off at an approved ballot drop site by 8 p.m. on May 19 starting Thursday.

For our readers, 24 hour drop boxes are locally placed at the Banks Public Library (42461 Market St), in front of the Forest Grove City Library on Pacific Ave (2114 Pacific Ave), and at the North Plains City Hall (31360 NW Commercial St). 

[We rely on subscribers to keep the lights on at the Banks Post. Support us with a digital subscription: Click here to start]

A full list of sites can be found at www.co.washington.or.us/AssessmentTaxation/Elections/CurrentElection/current-ballot-drop-sites.cfm

An interactive ballot drop box map is also available at sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/drop-box-locator.aspx.

In the upcoming election, Washington County voters, even those without a party affiliation, will be tasked with choosing nonpartisan judicial positions, approving or denying a public safety levy and library levy, choosing between two options for the position of Washington County Sheriff, and more.  

Party members will be tasked with selecting their party nominees for the November 3 general election. 

A voters’ guide was mailed recently to households throughout the county; it can also be viewed online at www.co.washington.or.us/AssessmentTaxation/Elections/CurrentElection/current-voters-pamphlet.cfm. Extra copies can also generally be found at your local post office. 

As far as results are concerned, an unofficial tally is generally posted online at results.oregonvotes.gov as results trickle in after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, though as of press time, that link was redirected to the secretary of state website. 

Preliminary results will also appear in next week’s newspaper. 

Here’s what’s on the ballot, starting at the county level.

Measure 34-296 — This public safety levy would replace the existing five-year levy, which expires in June 2021, and run from July 2021 to June 2026. The measure calls for taxing property owners 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Measure 34-297 — This Library Levy would renew the five-year property tax levy currently providing 40 percent of funding for the county-wide Washington County Cooperative Library Services, which is set to expire in July 2021.The measure calls for taxing property owners 22 cents per $1,000 of assessed value through July 2026.

Washington County Sheriff — Two candidates are seeking this position; incumbent Pat Garrett and Red Wortham, a sergeant with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 

On the local legislative level, we are following four races for Oregon State Representative House Districts 29, 30, 31, and 32. 

House District 29 (West Hillsboro, Cornelius, and Forest Grove, rural unincorporated Washington County between Forest Grove and Banks)

In the Democratic Party primary, incumbent Susan McLain is running unopposed. In the Republican Party primary, two candidates are fighting for a chance to take on McLain in the general election: David Dowler, a former U.S. Navy officer, and Dale Fishback, a retired Tualatin Valley Water District Field Operations Manager. 

House District 30 (Roy, areas just outside Banks, North Plains, Hillsboro, and portions of Aloha)

In the Democratic Party primary, incumbent Janeen Sollman is running unopposed. In the Republican Party primary, one candidate has filed to run: Darrell Gulstrom, a Hillsboro resident who said he was not currently employed in his filing paperwork, and listed his background as a warehouse delivery driver. 

House District 31 (Columbia County, portions of Buxton, Manning, and just outside of the city of Banks)

In the Democratic Party primary, incumbent Brad Witt is running unopposed. In the Republican Party primary, two candidates are seeking their party’s nomination: William H. Spencer, a Clatskanie resident and wrapper tech at the Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Brian G. Stout, a Columbia City resident and small business owner. 

House District 32 (Banks, Gales Creek, Timber, Gaston, Tillamook, Clatsop County)

With incumbent Tiffiny Mitchell declining to run for a second term, the seat is wide open, with two republicans and two democrats seeking to secure their respective party nomination: George Kiepke and Debbie Booth-Schmidt (Democrats), and Vineeta Lower and Suzanne Weber (Republicans).

Other positions include a variety of judicial, presidential, and congressional races; check your ballot and the voters’ guide for more information. 

+ posts

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

Sign up for Banks area news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!