Both Tom Bergin and Jim Pierce will face a runoff for the Clatsop County Sheriff's job in November.

Neither Sheriff Bergin or Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Pierce received more than 50 percent of the vote in the May 15 Primary Election triggering the runoff.

In the final unofficial vote count, Bergin received 45 percent (4,536 votes) and Pierce received 28 percent (2,772 voters).

Bergin says he's not worried about the runoff.

"That’s ok. This is the first step," he said. "We are doing our job. We are doing the right thing. There is so much more to being sheriff."

Bergin attributed two factors that caused the runoff.

"There were five guys in the race diluting the vote and a very low turnout," Bergin said. "It's just doing the math."

Bergin said he stands on his record of maintaining the office of sheriff.

"I am concentrating on doing my job," he said. "I will get the word out that I am here to keep people safe so they don't have to worry about it."

Bergin said he would be open to debates with Pierce in the months ahead.

"Anytime, anywhere," he said.

Pierce said he felt good about the election results.

"Going against an incumbent is always a challenge," he said. "We feel up to the challenge."

Pierce said now that the jail issue has been decided his committee will regroup to figure out how they move forward in the runoff election this fall.

"We will have to refocus," he said.

Pierce, who has been with the Oregon State Police since 1988, said the central issue of the upcoming campaign is making sure that all areas of the county get good police service.

"A lot of people are concerned they are not getting the services they are paying for," he said. "They want to see positive change."

Pierce said that although his committee has put effort into the campaign so far, they have not yet campaigned as hard as they could. Now that the field has cleared, Pierce said that his committee will step up their efforts.

Pierce believes he is the best person to address the imbalance of police services in the county.

"I have the ability to change that," he said.

In the Clatsop County Commissioner District 2 race, Gearhart resident Sarah Nebeker defeated Seaside resident John Dunzer.

Clatsop County voters rejected a $14 million dollar jail expansion measure in the May 15 Primary Election.

Measure 4-156 would have increased property taxes by 16.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. Supporters of the expansion said the average owner of a $200,000 home would see about a $30 a year increase in property taxes under the measure.

The measure failed 56 percent (5,574 votes) to 44 percent (4,379 votes) in the final unofficial tally.

Clatsop County voters also rejected Ballot Measure 4-155, an effort to ban exhibition of elephants and other exotic animals. The measure failed 60 percent (4,474 no) to 39 percent (2,976 yes).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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