Paul Castilleja held a commanding lead over Dan DeBoie for a Wallowa County Commission seat shortly after the polls closed Tuesday night, and it appears that Castilleja, a Republican, will be the county’s final commissioner elected under a party brand as County Measure 32-35, which establishes a nonpartisan commission, was also on a winning track.
According to Wallowa County Clerk Dana Roberts, the county has 4,709 registered voters. At 7:43 p.m., with 2,859 ballots counted, most of the true contests appeared settled. Among them:
• Steve Lear returns as mayor of Enterprise after spending two years outside of city government. At 7:43 he held a 321-244 advantage over incumbent Margie Shaw. Another 90 ballots had been cast for Fred Tippett, despite his announcement weeks ago that he had pulled out of the race.
• David Elliott will succeed Enterprise City Councilor Tim Parks, who didn’t seek re-election. Elliott was leading another candidate, Brandon Miller, 396-163.
• The Enterprise Cemetery District levy will not be hiked to pay for an irrigation system and landscape maintenance services. Measure 32-36 was going down in flames, 644-292.
Shortly after 8 p.m., Roberts estimated that more than 300 ballots from the Joseph precinct and at least 65 from Wallowa remained to be counted.
Although the City of Joseph’s street bond question, Measure 32-37, was trailing 197-142, that margin didn’t seem wide enough to declare the outcome determined, especially in view of the preponderance of Joseph ballots yet outstanding.
Similarly, in Wallowa, incumbent Mayor Vikki Knifong’s 142-115 lead over challenger Kevin Silveira, a city councilor, didn’t invite making an early call.
The Chieftain plans to post more complete and detailed results on Wednesday morning.