GOLD BEACH County Commissioner Bill Roberts appeared to be headed to defeat at press time Tuesday night, but fellow incumbent Commissioner Lloyd Olds was locked in a race too close to call.
At 10 p.m., with about 58 percent of the ballots counted, Roberts had 2,900 votes, or 45.5 percent, to Democratic challenger Lucie La Bonts 3,375 votes, or 53.4 percent.
Roberts only comment Tuesday night from his home was, What happens, happens.
La Bont was spending election night with fellow Democrats at the Pistol River Friendship Hall. She said former publisher Bob Van Leer was the first to congratulate her on being the new commissioner.
When Bob Van Leer says it, it means something, she said.
La Bont thanked the voters and said, I want to be part of the solution. I really believe Curry County can move ahead and accomplish a lot in the next four years.
La Bont noted that this will be the first time in history that Curry County will have two woman commissioners, and maybe three.
We have made Curry County history, she said, and credited the county with being willing to try something new. She also thanked the men who were willing to vote for who they thought was the best candidate, not just the best man.
La Bont said she would have no trouble working with either Olds or Schafer, no matter who won. She will go immediately to the watershed council conference in Eugene, then on to the Association of Oregon Counties training for new commissioners.
While La Bont looked secure for position No. 3, the position No. 2 race was much closer.
Republican challenger Marlyn Schafer had 2,880, or 45.4 percent to Olds 2,774, or 43.75 percent. Independent Pete DiRusso had 632 votes for 10 percent.
Olds could not be reached, and Schafer, watching the results at the Gold Beach Fire Hall with fellow Republicans, refused to claim victory yet.
Im hoping its a positive trend. Well see, she said.
While Olds and Schafer werent sure who would win, DiRusso knew he had lost. Still, he was upbeat.
I did better than Nader, he said.
DiRusso said the whole idea of his campaign was that if voters didnt like the other two, hed give them a third choice. He was hoping to garner a bit more than 20 percent of the vote, and was expecting 15 percent in the south county.
He said hell continue to stay involved in the county. Thats the way the system works.