By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Bledsoe keeps lead in treasurer's race

Kris Bledsoe
Kris Bledsoe
Paulette Alexandria
Paulette Alexandria

It appears that Kris Bledsoe will become the next Yamhill County Treasurer based on unofficial returns Tuesday night, but her lead was reduced in the 1:37 a.m. vote report.

Bledsoe had received 22,237 votes, or 51.43%, to 20,816 votes, or 48.14%, for Paulette Alexandria.

Voting in the race was marked by an "undervote" of 11,949, meaning that many voters did not select a candidate for the county position.

The pair advanced to a November runoff in the May primary election for the part-time position that manages the county’s $50 million investment portfolio and pays $30,000 annually.

Bledsoe received slightly more than 48% of the vote and Alexandria just over 34 percent in the primary.

The Bledsoe-Alexandria winner will succeed Mike Green, who did not run for re-election after serving eight years. He endorsed Bledsoe leading up to the primary and general elections.

Bledsoe, who lives south of Dayton on Grand Island, has more than 25 years of financial experience. Alexandria, a Carlton resident, has 30 years of business management and financial investment experience.

Bledsoe, whose son-in-law is Yamhill County Commissioner Chair Casey Kulla, said she felt good about her 2,000-vote lead with what she estimated to be 64% of the votes counted, but she was not in a celebratory mood quite yet.

“I tend to be a little conservative,” she said. “But I think the lead is wide enough if this continues. We’ll look for another count and wait. It'll be a nervous wait.

“What I’m really happy about is the McMinnville returns. I’m thrilled. What that proves is that you can’t buy Yamhill County and you can quote me on that.”

Alexandria was not available for comment.

Bledsoe, a current member of the county’s Investment Advisory Committee, has been a familiar county election figure. She ran for county commissioner in 2010, was preparing for another run in 2016 before exiting the race to challenge Mike Nearman in the House District 23 Republican primary in 2016.

The race for treasurer generated campaign spending on par with previous commission races. The two candidates raised about $40,000, with Alexandria holding about a 2-to-1 fundraising edge.

Comments

Oregonian

The treasurer cannot actively manage the county portfolio due to the extremely low interest rates in the US. The Oregon Short Term Fund is the catch all investment that is available to all counties. It is currently paying 0.75% per year. That is shockingly the best choice at the moment.

The treasurer will be forced to use that fund for all of her term and will be relegated to signing check and attending meetings for the $30,000 per year salary.

It is a positive sign that Yamhill County finally realized the person in the treasurer position should be striving for better returns than the Oregon Short Term Fund (which is actually managed by the state treasurer), but the timing is horrible to actually implement that change.

Hibb

Oregonian: Thanks for the insights!