News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Scio race too close to call

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

The Scio City Council race was  too close to call after the Nov. 8 election, with two seats still undecided as of the vote count published 1 a.m. Nov. 9.

Though incumbent Councilor Tom Gray had secured another term with 230 votes (29.4%), the remaining three candidates were neck-and-neck: incumbent Councilor John Whalen with 172 votes (21.9%), challenger Dennis Shaffer with 170 votes (21.7%) and incumbent Councilor Luke Zedwick with 169 votes (21.6%).

Both Whalen and Schaffer declined to be interviewed by The Canyon Weekly, while Gray did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Zedwick said he is hopeful voters will give him another term, while he is also confident in his competitors.

“I know all these men want to serve our town well and make it more livable,” said Zedwick. “I’m still hopeful I’ll get a chance to work toward my vision of improving Scio’s sidewalks and parks.”

The total vote count could continue to change until the election is certified Dec. 6. Linn County Clerk Steve Druckenmiller said Oregon’s new system of accepting ballots postmarked by election day means ballots could continue to arrive through Nov. 15, while other issues could arise due to ballots with invalid or missing signatures that would need to be resolved by Nov. 29.

If the certified results have a difference of 0.2 percent between a victor and the highest candidate who lost, or if there is a tie that prevents a clear outcome, then an automatic recount will be triggered. A candidate may also request a recount within 35 days of the election, though they would bear the cost of doing so.

For the most up-to-date election results, go to

Scio City Council

Tom Gray: 230 votes (29.4%)

John Whalen: 172 votes (21.9%)

Dennis Shaffer: 170 votes (21.7%)

Luke Zedwick: 169 votes (21.6%)

* Numbers current as of Nov. 9 at 1 a.m. For latest election results, go to

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