Updated: Aziz, Steinhebel local winners in Nov. 6 election

Mayor Paul Aziz
Michelle Steinhebel

Mayor Paul Aziz was re-elected in the Nov. 6 election, and Michelle Steinhebel was the top vote-getter in the race for the Lebanon City Council Ward III seat. 

Aziz, the incumbent, was the winner of the race for Mayor of Lebanon, receiving 61.19 percent of the vote, ahead of longtime City Councilman Bob Elliott (24.85 percent) and newcomer Tom Gregory (13.18 percent). 

In the only competitive race for Lebanon City Council, Ward III, Michelle Steinhebel received 55.54 percent of the vote, ahead of Duston Denver (26.33 percent) and Greg Nervino (17.35 percent).  

Incumbent Wayne Rieskamp was unchallenged for his Ward I seat, and newcomer Karin Stauder ran unchallenged in Ward II. 

In the race for Linn County Commissioner Position 1, Republican incumbent John Lindsey, of Lebanon, won with 57.23 percent of the vote, to 34.23 percent for Democrat Stephanie Newton of Albany, and 8.35 percent for Independent Gary Sullivan of Sweet Home. 

The Linn County Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance, which grants the county sheriff authority to not enforce federal laws judged to violate the Second Amendment, passed 51.33 to 48.67 percent. 

A proposed county ordinance that would have made the Linn County Surveyor an appointed position, in accordance with state law, failed by a significant margin – 70.20 percent in opposition, 29.80 percent supporting the measure. 

County incumbents not challenged in the election included County Assessor Andy Stevens, County Clerk Steve Druckenmiller and County Sheriff Jim Yon, all of whom received nearly unanimous votes.

Elsewhere, in the two competitive elections for Circuit Court judgeships, Rachel Kittson-Maqatish, with 54.41 percent of the vote, defeated Teri L. Plagmann for the open Linn County Circuit Court Judge Position 3 seat, who drew 45.11 percent. 

Challenger Michael Wynhausen was the winner in the race for Linn County Circuit Court Judge Position 1 with 58.10 percent, defeating incumbent Fay Stetz-Waters, appointed to the position last year by Gov. Kate Brown, who drew 41.47 percent of the votes. 

It was the first foray into campaigning for MaQatish, who said she got a lot of help from knowledgeable acquaintances in the election. 

“It was a lot of hard work,” she said. “I had a lot of good people supporting me. Running a campaign was something totally new to me and there was a lot to learn. It’s different than being a lawyer or a judge.”

She said she got a lot of support from her husband, Mo, and from her treasurer, local accountant Kim Cleveland of Rauch, McFetridge, Cleveland & Stein. 

“She was very ethical and timely and diligent,” MaQatish said. “I didn’t have to worry about it.”

MaQatish, who is a partner at Morley Thomas law firm in Lebanon and Sweet Home, said she will have to leave the practice, “which is hard.” 

“I’m excited to serve Linn County,” she said. “This is a big change. I’m excited about the bench. There’s a lot for new judges to learn, but Michael and I are hard workers. Two judges on the bench have reached out to me. I think we’ll all work together to make a good solid bench for citizens of Linn County.

Statewide, Gov. Brown held off challenger Knute Buehler with 49.57 percent of the votes, Buehler getting 44.22 percent. In Linn County, Buehler won 60.70 to 28.98 percent. Independent Patrick Starnes, of Brownsville, who officially dropped out of the race during the last week of October, drew 2,213 votes (4.17 percent) in Linn County. 

State House of Representatives 17th District Republican incumbent Sherrie Sprenger of Scio received 71.51 percent of the vote over challenger Renee Windsor-White, a Democrat, who got 28.25 percent. 

Voter turnout, as of Wednesday morning, was 67.82 percent statewide, with 1,873,895 ballots received. 

Measure 102, which amends the state constitution to allow local governments to float bonds to finance affordable housing in conjunction with nongovernmental entities, passed with 56.40 percent of the vote, to 43.50 percent in opposition. A majority of Linn County voters opposed it, 55.51 to 44.49 percent. 

Measure 103, which would have amended the state constitution to prohibit taxes or fees on groceries, failed, drawing only 42.81 percent of the vote to 57.19 against the proposition. A majority of Linn County voters supported the measure, 54.89 to 45.11 percent. 

Measure 104, which would have amended the state constitution to require a three-fifths legislative majority to pass revenue-raising bills, failed 61-15 to 34.85 percent. It also failed in Linn County, 55.53 to 44.47 percent. 

Measure 105, which would have repealed Oregon’s “Sanctuary Law,” which bans the use of state or local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws, also failed, 62.93 to 37.07 percent. It passed in Linn County, 52.14 to 47.86 percent.  

Measure 106, which would have amended the state constitution to prohibit the spending of “public funds” for abortions, failed, 65.16 to 35.84 percent. A majority of Linn County voters supported the measure, 52.28 to 47.72 percent.