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Clackamas County Commission Campaigns Continue Into The Fall


The race for the top executive of Clackamas County is headed to a fall runoff.

The Clackamas County chair’s race had four candidates. But Commissioner Paul Savas and Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay barely got a quarter of the vote between them, putting them out of contention for the November election.

From left, Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas, Commissioner Jim Bernard, and County Chair John Ludlow, debate at Willamette Falls Media Center on April 28, 2016. The three are running for Clackamas County Chair. Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay (not pictured, and not present at the debate) is also running.

From left, Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas, Commissioner Jim Bernard, and County Chair John Ludlow, debate at Willamette Falls Media Center on April 28, 2016. The three are running for Clackamas County Chair. Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay (not pictured, and not present at the debate) is also running.

Willamette Falls Media Center

Commissioner Jim Bernard earned the most votes in the race, but was far short of what he needed to avoid a runoff against the incumbent chair John Ludlow. Ludlow said he’s confident he’ll overtake Bernard in November because he’ll pick up the votes of the other two conservatives who aren’t advancing.    

“If you aggregate those numbers, I feel real good about that,” Ludlow said.  

Bernard is a more progressive candidate, and he’s optimistic that he can win the parts of Clackamas County where Savas was popular.  

“I would say that I would be more likely to pick up those votes,” Bernard said.

The two leading candidates have sharp differences on land use, transportation spending and the relationship the county should have with the Metro regional government.  

Two Clackamas County commissioners were up for re-election.

Incumbents Martha Schrader and Tootie Smith were both winning their races, late Tuesday. Schrader ended up earning a majority in her race and winning outright. Smith received about 47 percent of the vote in her race, but will face leading rival Ken Humbertson in a run-off in the fall.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated and clarified to reflect the most recent and accurate numbers from Clackamas County.

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