Former Ashland Mayor and author Cathy Shaw commanded 59.4 percent of the vote in the three-way race for Position 2 of the Jackson County Library District Board.

Fire sprinkler design consultant Steve Richie of Ashland had 31 percent in returns posted shortly after 11 p.m., with candidate Hart Wilson tallying 9.3 percent.

The three-way race was one of the more heavily contested seats in this year's special election, but voters put their faith in Shaw, a longtime community activist with political campaign experience at the state level and tenure as a local mayor.

In all her years in elected positions and otherwise, Shaw said it was "extremely heartening" to have voter support for a role she feels so passionate about taking on.

"I have worked for 30 years for library issues, whether it was renovation of the buildings or levies or as a campaign manager for the library district campaign. The one defining difference between me and the two people I was running against was that I believe library management should happen here in Jackson County," said Shaw.

"The fact that we are paying an estimated 30 cents on every tax dollar to a hedge fund to manage our libraries is egregious and it has to stop. We need to bring management back home."

She added, "Not only was that the primary difference between me and my opponents, but I believe it had everything to do with the resounding affirmation by voters."

Reach Medford freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.