By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

Close race shows Springer as winner

The day after former McMinnville City Councilor Allen Springer turned back Newberg City Councilor Denise Bacon for a Yamhill County commissioner seat, he ran into an acquaintance who teased him by saying he was sick of seeing Springer signs everywhere.

Springer smiled and shrugged, acknowledging there were a lot of them — 455, in fact. It was all part of his plan to circulate his name around the county and earn people’s votes, he said.

Apparently, it worked.

Despite being outspent 2-to-1, the custom home builder defeated Bacon 18,215 to 16,609 in final unofficial returns. That works out to 52.31 percent to 47.69 percent.

Springer ran on a campaign of getting the government out of people’s pockets and bringing more community organizations and citizens to the table to help solve the county’s challenges. He called it “getting back to basics.” 

He replaces Leslie Lewis, who is term-limited out after 12 years of service, on the three-member body. Her two colleagues, Mary Stern and Kathy George, will each be term-limited out in 2014, making Springer the senior member.

“I am thrilled that the people of Yamhill County have selected Allen Springer as our next county commissioner,” Lewis said. “Allen was my choice, as well, for several reasons.

“One, Allen places God first in his life. Two, Allen has strong convictions and integrity, and is willing to stand up for his positions. Three, Allen knows that government is here to serve the people, rather than people serving their government.”

Springer said he was happy with the result and ready to move to the next phase — a new-commissioner orientation and training session hosted Monday in Eugene by the Oregon Association of Counties.

Though he won’t be taking office until January, he said, “We’ll start ramping up immediately.”

Springer said he couldn’t have won without his family and his team of supporters and volunteers. “They did a tremendous job and supported us in an epic manner,” he said. 

He also had kind words for his opponent. “I appreciate Denise’s efforts and her demeanor throughout the campaign,” he said.

Bacon returned the compliment.

“Allen and I both did the right thing through the race,” she said. “It’s disappointing, of course, but it was a pleasant race to be in and we both worked hard.”

As far as what’s become affectionately known as “sign bombing” at the Springer household, there are still signs up. But Springer noted some of them have been altered with a simple message to voters: thank you.

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