Incumbent Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall bested his challenger Ken Lundie by a margin of 73% to 27% Tuesday night despite Lundie outspending Hall 3-to-1 on political advertising. Hall won a chance at a third term in office and will be campaigning through November as he faces frequent republican candidate Tom Runions who ran unsuccessfully against Hall in 2008 and unsuccessfully against Don Lindly in 2010. Republican Fred Thompson beat his republican primary challenger Karen Bowerman 66 to 34%. Thompson faces incumbent Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader in November.
Hall said he wanted to thank his family and close friends who stepped in to help run his campaign to win the democratic nomination for another term to the Lincoln County Commission. Early on, Hall slipped and fell while climbing a slippery lawn at a home on the Bay Road. For a time, Hall was confined to a wheel chair while his supporters placed signs, distributed flyers and made “get out the vote” phone calls to democratic voters county-wide. Hall said “I am filled with gratitude and am humbled that so many would help me continue my candidacy for service as a Lincoln County Commissioner. The ultimate decision on my candidacy will be determined this November, but I know I can count on the love and support of my wife Carol and others, to help me continue what I enjoy most – serving the people of Lincoln County.”
Hall said “Lincoln County’s immediate future is fraught with challenges but with a dedicated and experienced county commission and a smart and creative staff, we will maintain vital services so that when this recession ends, Lincoln County will be poised to move forward.”
Hall said the county is anticipating saving money by changing the way county employees buy health insurance. Hall said by creating health savings accounts for county employees, the county will be able to save money even though family deductibles will rise to three thousand a year. If the county’s employees’ unions agree, the health savings account will see the county put three thousand dollars in the bank for each employee while the county will get a premium break greater than the three thousand it puts in each employees health savings account. A rare cost savings these days.
Hall now faces republican Tom Runions in the November election. Runions is a former county public works employee who has been a long time critic of the way the county commission handles the county budget. Wednesday morning unsuccessful democratic candidate Ken Lundie addressed the board of commissioners that this was the first election he’s lost but that he fully endorses his victor, Bill Hall, for another term in office, calling Hall a well liked and respected community leader and that he would support Hall in any way he could in the fall campaign.
And in Yachats, voters barely defeated a city charter revision that would have made the Mayor position on the city council a bit more powerful, in that it would have become a position much like that of a City Administrator. The Mayor’s term would also have been extended to four years instead of the current two. The charter amendment would have removed the requirement of voter approval for sale or purchase of city property. So, in Yachats, the mayor still serves only two years, she/he is mostly the same as any other city councilor and the voters still enjoy a thumbs up or down vote on any property sold or purchased by the city. The changes were referred to in a document outlining a “model city charter” by the Oregon League of Cities.
As of Wednesday morning, the county clerk’s office reports 10,630 votes were cast for a voter turn out of just over 41%.
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