Updated general election results in Columbia County Wednesday caused no change in race outcomes.
Voters passed Measure 5-270, called the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance, with 52.9 percent approval. Columbia County was one of 10 Oregon counties with the same measure on the ballot. However, it is also likely the measure will be challenged in court once election results are final.
The measure would prohibit the county from passing any laws that limit or restrict “the right to keep and bear arms,” in accordance with both the U.S. and Oregon constitutions. It also makes it illegal for the county to limit gun ownership through registration, use or ownership.
In the three-way race for Columbia County sheriff, County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Pixley won by taking 10,049 votes, while Jim Gibson tallied 2,525 and Dave Brown received 8,761. Pixley will serve a four-year term through 2022.
A measure to ban marijuana business in Clatskanie failed, with 353 votes opposing it 314 supporting it. The measure would have barred the city from allowing medical marijuana processing sites and dispensaries and recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers within city limits.
Columbia County voter turnout lagged behind that of Cowlitz County.
State Sen. Betsy Johnson and state Rep. Brad Witt were each re-elected, with Johnson getting a little more than 73 percent of votes cast. Witt narrowly beat challenger Brian Stout, outpolling the Republican challenger by 11,810-11,332 in Columbia County.
Columbia County Commissioner Henry Heimuller will serve another term in office after running unopposed. Heimuller received 62.8 percent of votes.
In Rainier, Mayor Jerry Cole and council members James Bradfield, Sloan Nelson and Robert duPlessis all ran unopposed. Position 1 on the city council will be decided by write-in after failing to get a single candidate for the position.
While other counties across the Pacific Northwest were seeing near record turnout for the 2018 midterms, that wasn’t the case in Columbia County. As of Wednesday, 24,045 of the county’s 37,611 (or 63.9 percent) registered voters had turned in ballots. That’s compared to 72.77 percent for the 2014 midterms and 74.14 percent for the 2010 midterms.