Making their case

Position 3 commissioner candidates Rod Taylor, left, and Melissa Cribbins shared their thoughts on the race at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Wednesday Business Connections.

It appears a general election might be needed to choose a county commissioner for Position 3.

While incumbent Melissa Cribbins continues to hold a comfortable lead in the race, her lead has shrunk below the needed 50% to avoid a runoff in the November election.

The unofficial vote count released as of Tuesday, May 24, shows Cribbins with 8,969 votes, or 49.75% of the total cast. Bandon businessman Rod Taylor has surged in the late vote and has 7,386 votes, or 40.57%, while Chase Carlson has 1,621 votes, or 8.96%.

According to the county clerk's office, the final count was set to be released May 24. The vote will not be official until it is approved by the board of commissioners.

Cribbins, who is running for her third term in office, has been ahead since the first results were released on Election Night. But after having close to 52% of the vote, Cribbins margin has slowly slipped as the late votes were counted.

The same story held true in the race for Position 2 county commissioner and county clerk, but the Election Day margin in those races has held enough to avoid a general election runoff.

In the Position 2 commissioner's race, incumbent John Sweet continues to hold a supermajority lead with 9,077 votes, or 51.57%. Pam Lewis is in second with 6,887 votes, or 39.13%, while Cristina Bettesworth is third with 1,573 votes, or 8.94%.

In the race for county clerk, North Bend teacher Julie Brecke continues to maintain the needed majority with 9,509 votes, or 57.66%. Diane Rich is second with 4,896 votes, or 29.69%, and Matthew Borgens is third with 2,045 votes, or 12.4%.

During the election, Cribbins and Sweet campaigned as a duo, asking voters to keep the board of commissioners together. Meanwhile, Taylor, Lewis and Rich campaigned as a group, asking voters to elect new leadership in the county.

The incumbents seemed to be in good shape as the early results were released, but the challengers have made progress as the late votes were counted.

A new state law says votes postmarked by Election Day and received within seven days of the vote can be counted. Therefore a final result has been withheld as thousands of late votes have been counted.

The late votes have not changed the three tax measures on the election, although a vote for a bond for the North Bend School District remains extremely close.

In that race, 2,559 people have voted against the bond while 2,506 have voted in favor.

A measure to impose a short-term lodging tax in Charleston is passing easily with 10,458 voters in favor, accounting for 57.28% of the vote. 

A proposal to pass a tax levy for a new Coos Bay library and 9-1-1 center at John Topits Park also continues to fail with 2,403 voters casting ballots against the bond with 1,588 in favor of it.

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