Two women from the rural ends of the county fight to gain a commission position
In the race for Position No. 4 on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, the results are too close to call.
The current count has 52,342 voters, or 51.8 percent, preferring change by placing their mark beside Tootie Smiths name, while 48,695 voters, or 48.2 percent, have chosen Jamie Damon to continue her role on the commission.
At press time, only one count had been reported by the countys elections office. More reports of additional ballots counted will be reported when received from the county, and the numbers will be updated.
Since the two candidates live in opposite ends of the county, the partial results at any time could be influenced by which area's ballots have been counted.
Tootie Smith, challenging the incumbent, is from Molalla, while Jamie Damon lives in Eagle Creek.
Damon is a professional mediator, and was appointed to the commission in June 2011 when an opening was created after Gov. John Kitzhaber asked former commission chairwoman Lynn Peterson to be his adviser.
Smith served in the state Legislature for four years, including as a member of the Ways and Means Committee. She operates a bed and breakfast in Molalla.
Smith says she would draw upon her experience as a legislator and her time as a small-business operator to understand and represent the views of Clackamas County residents.
But Damon says her role as referee for divisive issues on the commission is necessary and important.
Damon says she was appointed to bring an east county, rural perspective to the board. She also has promoted and achieved having quarterly town halls and evening business meetings to give residents greater access to the commission.
Smith, who has some views similar to chairman candidate John Ludlow, says government should be of, by and for the people, and that has been lost on the current commission.
She would change the countys priorities and build more roads that would encourage new businesses to develop and bring the county more jobs. Smith calls herself the shovel-ready candidate.