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UPDATE: The incumbent holds just over 41 percent of the vote in unofficial returns as of Wednesday.

STAFF PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Pam Treece appears to be cruising to a seat on the Washington County Board of Commissioners over incumbent Commissioner Greg Malinowski, according to unofficial election results Tuesday, May 15.Washington County Commissioner Greg Malinowski's bid for a third term appears to have fallen short, with challenger Pam Treece scoring a convincing win Tuesday night, May 15, according to unofficial election returns.

Treece, who is executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance, held 58.3 percent of the vote as of Wednesday morning, May 16. Malinowski, who has been serving on the Washington County Board of Commissioners since 2009, trailed with 41.3 percent. While Malinowski made up some ground since initial returns showed him trailing Treece by about 20 percentage points, the unofficial results still point to a clear outright win for the challenger.

Malinowski and Treece were competing in District 2, which covers northeastern Washington County, including some northeastern parts of the Hillsboro area. Malinowski's term will expire at the end of the year, after which time Treece will take office, assuming her victory is certified.

"I'm really looking forward to being a part of the commission, and I'm looking forward to working on the problems that Washington County faces," said Treece shortly after 11:15 p.m.

In knocking on doors across District 2 during the campaign, Treece remarked, she heard directly from constituents about what they perceive as issues in the county — including affordable housing, transportation and more.

Treece, who said Tuesday night she plans to serve out the year at the head of the Westside Economic Alliance, portrayed herself in the campaign as a fresh face with extensive experience in economic development.

Treece dramatically outraised the incumbent Malinowski, topping his fundraising by a margin of greater than two-to-one, according to financial records filed with the Oregon secretary of state's office. Her campaign cash rivaled the amounts raised by candidates in the four-way race for county chairman, running behind only former state legislator Ryan Deckert, who was running outside of the top two in a crowded candidate field Tuesday night.

"I can tell you that we ran a very positive campaign. I had a lot of people that volunteered and supported me," said Treece, adding thanks to her family, friends and campaign staff, as well as District 2's voters.

Treece and Malinowski both identify as Democrats. While the Board of Commissioners is officially a nonpartisan body, a political divide has long split the board between conservatives led by outgoing Chairman Andy Duyck and the liberal faction represented by Malinowski and Commissioner Dick Schouten.

During the campaign, Treece racked up major endorsements on both sides of the aisle, including backing from both business and labor groups. She also received the backing of both Duyck and Metro President Tom Hughes, Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen, Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway, Cornelius Mayor Jef Dalin, North Plains Mayor Teri Lenahan, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, and Tigard Mayor John L. Cook, among others.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated Pam Treece's political affiliation. She is a registered Democrat. This story has been updated with unofficial election results as of Wednesday, May 16, and comments from Treece.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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