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

Presumptive winners emerge in Scio race

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

Presumptive winners have emerged in the Scio City Council race after a close election that at one time saw three candidates separated by only three votes.

According to election results published by the Linn County Clerk’s Office on Nov. 21, the city’s three open council seats were likely to go to Councilor Tom Gray, with 248 votes, Councilor John Whalen, with 186 votes, and challenger Dennis Shaffer, with 184 votes.

Councilor Luke Zedwick came in fourth place with 176 votes.

Gray had emerged well ahead of his fellow candidates on election night Nov. 8, however the race was too close to call for Whalen, Shaffer and Zedwick, who were all within close range of claiming one of the two remaining seats. 

A vote tally published at 1 a.m. Nov. 9. showed the three men with 172, 170 and 169 votes, respectively.

The gap widened as more votes were counted, and an update Nov. 14 had Whalen at 182 votes, Shaffer at 180 votes, and Zedwick at 176 votes. 

The Nov. 21 vote total showed additional support for Whalen and Shaffer while Zedwick’s total was unchanged, so a significant shift in this trend would be needed for Zedwick to secure a victory.

Election results may still change until the election is certified Dec. 6, as signature discrepancies and other potential irregularities could still impact the outcome. 

For up-to-date figures, go to During the Nov. 8 election, and on election night Councilor Tom Gray was far ahead of his fellow candidates, maintaining his lead in the most recent count with 248 votes.

Druckenmiller said a recount would be triggered if there is a difference of 0.2 percentage points or less between a victor and the next-highest candidate who lost, which in this case would be one vote based on 827 ballots received, or if there is a tie that prevents a clear winner. Candidates may also request a recount within 35 days of the election, but would bear the cost of doing so.

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