By Bill Lundquist, Pilot Staff Writer
GOLD BEACH -- The stage was set Tuesday night for a November showdown between Curry County Commissioner Rachelle Schaaf and her Republican challenger Ralph Brown.
Schaaf won a decisive victory over Democratic challenger Olive Wooldridge in the primary election.
Schaaf received 1,449 votes as of press time, with nearly all the votes counted, or 73.52 percent of the vote.
Wooldridge received 467 votes, or 23.69 percent. Under votes, those who cast ballots but did not vote for either candidate, totaled 202.
"I'm very excited," said Schaaf. She said it was her first election. She also said she appreciated the support tremendously.
"I'm excited that I'm one step closer to being able to serve Curry County," said Schaaf. "I'm honored that folks thought I was their candidate."
"I think I do good work," said Schaaf, adding that all three commissioners work well together.
"I definitely have a good working knowledge of county needs and issues," she said.
Schaaf also said, "I appreciated Olive's candidacy. It takes a lot to talk oneself into shooting for public office."
She said Wooldridge raised some good issues and gave her more to think about.
"I'm happy to serve Curry County," said Schaaf. "I love what I do. I care about it (the county)."
Wooldridge took her defeat philosophically. "I really did want to know how well one could do with just public finance money. I was testing the system.
"I raised issues that weren't being talked about. I learned a lot. I'm comfortable with the result."
Brookings commercial fisherman Ralph Brown, running unopposed in the Republican primary, received 2,060 votes, or 96.58 percent of the total. There were 510 under votes in that race.
Brown was not overly impressed with his victory. "This was the easy one. I've got to make sure when there are two names on the ballot they still mark mine.
"I don't know that the numbers tonight count for a lot. We've got our work cut out for us," he said of himself and Schaaf.
The other big winner Tuesday night was incumbent Curry County Surveyor Jerry Floyd, who won reelection easily over two challengers.
Floyd garnered 2,332 votes, or 46.43 percent. Former Curry County Surveyor Darryl Niemi received 1,362 votes, or 27.12 percent. Mark Moore nearly tied that with 1,320 votes, or 26.28 percent. There were 543 under votes.
Voter turnout in Curry County was 39.15 percent at press time. The Democratic turnout was 43.65 percent and the Republican turnout was 43.51. The nonaffiliated turnout was 23.71 percent.