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Incumbent Columbia County Commissioner Henry Heimuller held a commanding lead in the primary election Tuesday night, with Port of St. Helens Commissioner Paulette Lichatowich in second place.

Heimuller earned 4,351 ballots, good for 39.6 percent of the vote, while 3,065 ballots were cast for Lichatowich, with 27.9 percent of the vote.

St. Helens, Ore., businessman Kimberly Johns kept close but missed out on the general election, with 2,527 ballots and 23 percent of voters backing him. Rainier resident Don Campbell was in fourth, earning 9.2 percent of the vote and 1,011 votes.

“I expected we would be very successful in this race, and I’m looking forward for a runoff in the fall that I also anticipate will be very successful,” Heimuller told The Daily News on Tuesday night. “I look forward to ... getting this behind us so we can get back to the regular work of running the county.”

A total of 10,999 eligible voters had their say in the commissioner race, which is a turnout just below 30 percent.

Meanwhile, renewal of a five-year levy for the Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District passed with flying colors, 938-380. That amounts to 71.2 percent approval.

The levy will impose $1.2533 per $1,000 of assessed property to help pay for staffing, replace equipment and maintain the district’s buildings and property.

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