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Voisin retains council seat in close race

Agee, backed by Ashland Residents for a Great City Council PAC, trailed by only 29 votes
 Posted: 2:00 AM November 27, 2012

It's official: Ashland City Councilor Carol Voisin has kept her seat, edging out challenger Jackie Agee by 29 votes out of nearly 10,000 cast.

Voisin earned 49.94 percent, or 4,885 votes, to Agee's 49.64 percent, or 4,856 votes.

Voters wrote down write-in candidates on 0.42 percent of ballots, and 2,274 voters didn't make a choice in the race, according to official Jackson County results from the Nov. 6 election that were posted this weekend.

In most races, competitors had wide enough margins that they knew whether they had won or lost on election night.

But the winner of the close Voisin vs. Agee race remained unclear as Jackson County elections workers spent weeks dealing with problem ballots, such as ones that had signatures that didn't match voter registration form signatures.

"Thanks to all the voters who voted for me and to all the people who worked on my campaign," Voisin said on Sunday.

She thanked Agee for running.

Agee said she always thought her effort to unseat an incumbent would be a long-shot, but she was pleased that she came so close.

"I'm not going to ask for a recount," Agee said. "It's gone on long enough. It's been an interesting race. The voters have spoken, and it's time to move forward."

Voisin and Agee would have to be separated by 0.2 of 1 percent of votes cast for them or less for an automatic recount to be triggered.

They were separated by 0.3 of 1 percent.

Agee said she learned more about her community while campaigning and is glad she ran.

"I congratulate Carol, and I wish her all the best in her next four years," Agee said.

The two had the most contentious race in this year's Ashland City Council contests, with the controversial Ashland Residents for a Great City Council Political Action Committee running ads against Voisin.

The PAC has operated through several Ashland election cycles, targeting the most liberal council members and endorsing candidates that it says are pragmatic, non-ideological and able to get along with others.

In other Ashland races, final election results show that Councilor Greg Lemhouse and Mayor John Stromberg held their seats.

Rich Rosenthal will take over the seat being vacated by Councilor Russ Silbiger — who didn't seek re-election.

Vanston Shaw won the position held by Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioner JoAnne Eggers, who didn't seek re-election, and Parks Commissioner Jim Lewis will serve again after no one challenged him.

To view the final election results for all county candidates, and to see how county residents voted in state and national contests, visit http://www.co.jackson.or.us/page.asp?navid=3899.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.


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