Elections, News, Washington County

Voters have their say

Voters had their say in Tuesday night’s primary, selecting candidates for their party’s nomination to statewide, congressional and statewide offices, while also making decisions on local ballot measures and county races.

The county elections office reported a turnout as of midnight of 25.89%. The county received 101,192 ballots, some of which had not yet been counted by midnight out of 390,894 registered voters.

Some ballots will continue to trickle in via mail, up to seven days after the election, but the vast majority of ballots have already been received.

View all of the current results for the election online at results.oregonvotes.gov.

Washington County Sheriff

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has been led by Caprice Massey since December 1, 2023 after the resignation of former Sheriff Pat Garrett, who resigned last year, citing a desire to retire and spend more time with his family.

Massey was appointed to the post to replace Garrett by the Washington County Board of Commissioners, and she filed to run for the office, which is one of several county-level elected in Washington County.

Tuesday night, with no opposition, Massey cinched the election, bringing in 98.23% of the vote as of Wednesday morning. Some additional ballots remain to be counted, but the vast majority of ballots have been received by the county elections office.

1,102 people opted to write in a different name on their ballot.

Massey’s election marks the first time Washington County voters have chosen a woman to lead the county’s law enforcement agency.

“Thank you to Washington County voters for electing me to serve as your next Sheriff,” Massey said in a press release. “Serving as your appointed Sheriff for the last six months has been an honor; it has been a privilege to serve our community and lead the exceptional professional staff in the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Now, to have the will of the voters behind me as we move forward together to keep Washington County safe feels incredible,” Massey said.

While many cities throughout Washington County maintain their own police force separate from the county structure, the sheriff maintains the county jail and provides law enforcement to the unincorporated areas in the county, both urban—Aloha, Bethany, Cedar Mill and other regions—and rural, with areas like Gales Creek, Buxton, and Timber served by Massey’s office.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office also serves as the law enforcement agency for several smaller cities in the county on a contract basis, including the city of Banks, North Plains, and Cornelius.

The law enforcement agency also conducts search and rescue operations in and near the Tillamook State Forest.

“You have my steadfast commitment to serve our community with integrity and transparency. My goal is for Washington County to be a place where everyone – regardless of their background – feels safe and welcome, and that is the work I will dedicate myself to everyday as your Sheriff,” Massey said.

She also thanked family, friends, colleagues, and the Washington County Board of Commissioner.

House District 31

The Republican primary race for House District 31, which represents much of the northwest corner of Oregon, including Banks, Gales Creek, and Vernonia drew two challengers—both realtors—for the open seat, Darcey Edwards and Aaron Hall.

Edwards immediately had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead over Hall at 8 p.m., and subsequent results only cemented her lead, with the Banks-area Edwards now sitting at 81.26% of the vote to North Plains resident Hall’s 17.84%.

“I am deeply honored by the trust and support shown by our community in this primary election,” Darcey said in an email to the Banks Post. “This is a testament to the collective desire for common sense, pragmatic leadership in Salem. As we look ahead to November, I remain committed to working tirelessly for a future where every voice is heard, every individual has the opportunity to thrive, and all our communities in House District 31 are represented.”

The primary for the Democrat side of the race drew just one candidate, tax consultant Jordan Gutierrez, who will win the seat and face off against Darcey in November.

The Banks Post will have more from both candidates closer to the November election.

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

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