By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: Maslow would like Precinct 18 voters

McMinnville voters must be feeling pretty good about their lives — that was especially true this week in McMinnville’s Precinct 18 on the northwest side of town.

I’m reminded of the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, a theory in psychology that begins with the highest priority, physical and safety needs. I learned about the hierarchy 50 years ago in a political science class from a professor who stressed that people with significant physical and safety needs are unlikely to vote.

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Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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Apparently, the people of Precinct 18 are fulfilling their primary needs. Their voter turnout on Tuesday was 65.1 percent, highest in a county that averaged 52.4 percent. Statewide, initial estimates suggest voter turnout below 45 percent.

It’s easy to believe that Precinct 18 voters are meeting physical, safety and social needs, and working on the higher level of self-actualization and perhaps even self-transcendence, the highest.

Their civic consciousness was on display with 68.4 percent support for the McMinnville school bond; their political awareness proved prophetic with a 68.2 percent vote for Rick Olson to replace Allen Springer as county commissioner.

At 77.7 percent turnout, the Democrats of Precinct 18 showed a moderate streak by supporting Hillary Clinton for president — one of just two Yamhill County precincts not won by Bernie Sanders. Republicans in the precinct joined a countywide sweep by Bud Pierce in his quest to unseat incumbent Gov. Kate Brown.

An oncologist, Pierce, by the way, was instrumental in saving my dad’s life many years ago. That would be enough in itself to ensure my vote, but I think Oregon voters will see plenty of reasons to support his candidacy in the months ahead.

All in all, it was a quiet election that might have slipped by almost unnoticed had it not been for the Olson-Springer fireworks. Results of that race likely end our musings about why the intemperate incumbent had begun calling the News-Register and Newberg Graphic “left-wing papers.”

The local election was a snoozer for the Independent Party of Oregon in its primary election debut. There were no IPO candidates in nine races and a single name in two others; in a pair of contested races, two-thirds of IPO voters chose not to vote for either candidate.

Political interest will rise, no doubt, as we approach a volatile Clinton/Trump campaign. Meanwhile, a final tip of the hat to voters who passed school bonds in McMinnville, Yamhill-Carlton and Gaston, and needed fire district funds in Amity.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsreigster.com or 503-687-1223.

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