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Abell is Council write-in winner

By Chris Collins

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Rosemary Abell is the apparent winner of a write-in election to fill the fourth seat on the Baker City Council.

Abell, who was promoted as a write-in candidate by Baker County Democrats,  garnered 537 votes under various spellings of her name, according to unofficial results released by Baker County Clerk Tami Green Friday afternoon.

“There is an allowance in statute for misspellings,” Green said. “They don’t take away from a vote.”

 See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

County talks sage grouse

By Joshua Dillen

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A state official talked with Baker County Commissioners Wednesday about how county officials can prepare for a possible listing of the sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species.

Jon Jinings, community services specialist from the  Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is going to make a decision within the next 12 months whether to list the sage grouse.

“The state position is we don’t want that to happen,” Jinings told commissioners.

He also said the department is working to demonstrate that the listing is not needed in Oregon — at least not in Baker County.

ELECTION 2014: How Baker County voted compared with statewide totals



Jeff Merkley, D — 683,033

Monica Wehby, R — 470,432


Merkley — 2,331

Wehby — 4,229

It's official: Harvey wins; no need to count write-in votes

Bill Harvey will replace Fred Warner Jr. as chairman of the Baker County Board of Commissioners in January.

This outcome was semi-official even before county officials tallied votes Tuesday.

Harvey, having beaten Warner by 500 votes in the Republican primary in May, was the only candidate listed on the ballot.

Warner said publicly that he would accept another term were he elected as a write-in candidate, but he did not campaign.

And Tuesday's results made the matter clear.

Harvey received 4,586 votes, and there were a total of 1,525 write-in votes.

That insurmountable gap means there's no reason to individually count the write-in vote to see how many were for Warner, County Clerk Tami Green said this morning.

See more in Wednesday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

Bentz re-elected to State House

Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, has been easily re-elected to the Oregon House of Representatives for District 60, which includes Baker County.

In Baker County results only, Bentz tallied 5,108 votes to Democratic challenger Peter Hall's 1,341 votes. Hall lives in Haines. 

Voters reject top two primary idea

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon voters have rejected a big change to the state’s primary election system.

They voted down Measure 90, a proposal to scrap the current primary-election system in favor of a “top-two” format.

City voters give city OK to sell two pieces of land

Baker City voters have given city officials permission to sell two pieces of forested land the city owns along Salmon Creek west of Baker City.

Two separate measures, one for each parcel, passed by wide margins.

One measure passed 2,563 votes to 1,115, the other by 2,549 votes to 1,117. 

Voters legalize recreational marijuana use

Oregon voters have passed Measure 91, legalizing recreational marijuana use for people 21 and older.

Oregon already has a law allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

A majority of Baker County voters were opposed to Measure 91 — 4,108 votes to 2,735, a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent.

Kitzhaber re-elected

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has defeated Republican challenger Dennis Richardson to win an unprecedented fourth term.

Baker County voters preferred Richardson by a wide margin, giving him 4,581 votes to Kitzhaber's 1,837. 

Oregonians reject drivers cards for illegal immigrants

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon voters have rejected a measure permitting four-year driver’s cards to those who cannot prove their legal status in the United States.

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a state law last year granting the cards, but an interest group put the measure up for a vote.

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