Benton County Republicans
Johnson, Close and Mullins win Senate District 8 nominee slots to be submitted to Commissioners
Last night, the Benton and Linn County Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen met in the McKenzie Conference Center at Comfort Suites in Corvallis for the Senate District 8 Nominating Convention to select not less than three and not more than five nominees to present to the Benton County and Linn County Boards of Commissioners, who are, according to Oregon law, tasked with selecting a Republican to fill the remaining two years of Senator Frank Morse’s term. Morse recently announced his resignation effective Monday, September 17th.
The nine candidates who threw their hats in the ring to vie for the nomination slots were Stan Baker, Betsy Close, Andrew Decker, Van Hunsaker, Al Hutchinson, Jeff Jimerson, Clinton Johnson, George Mears and Larry Mullins.
The convention was presided over by Allen Alley, Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party. After the rules for the convention were established by a vote of the committee persons the candidates were given five minutes each to speak. A Q&A followed from questions collected from the committeemen and women. All candidates briefly responded to each question. Following that, the first ballot was cast in a weighted vote of the committee persons based on precinct composition. Voters were to vote for five candidates. A candidate had to receive 50%+1 to secure a slot. Three candidates reached the magic number and a motion was made to close the voting. The motion carried.
The winners, in order of votes received, were Clinton Johnson of Linn County, Betsy Close of Benton County and Larry Mullins of Benton County. Stan Baker was a very few votes shy of 50%.
The field of candidates was impressive and we offer our gratitude to all who stepped up to offer their names for nomination.
Now, the three Benton County Commissioners and three Linn County Commissioners have 10 days to select one of the three nominees to take Senator Morse’s seat. If the commissioners cannot select one, the decision then goes to Governor Kitzhaber.