By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: Profiles emerge in election results

“This election,” we wrote three weeks ago, “will tell Yamhill County much about who we are.”

Truer words could hardly have been written.

Politically, based on votes for and against the recall of county Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer, we are three conflicting populations: McMinnville, Newberg-Dundee, and the other small towns and rural areas.


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

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As Rudyard Kipling wrote in “The Ballad of East and West:” “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

Kipling’s 1889 poem did concede that issues of geography and ethnicity will dissolve “when two strong men stand face to face” in mutual respect of each other’s character and integrity. It remains to be seen whether the political twain shall ever meet in Yamhill County.

McMinnville’s six precincts voted 60.7 percent for and 39.3 percent against the recall. The margin was nearly 2-to-1 in two large districts, with 64.3 and 65.3 percent favoring the recall, respectively.

Newberg-Dundee voters were near-opposites in opposing the recall 56.6 to 43.4 percent, and every precinct there reported results very near that overall average. Newberg-Dundee thus gave back 1,520 of the 2,187-vote margin in McMinnville.

The clincher came from Yamhill County’s small towns and rural areas, bolstered by lock-step voting in the agricultural community.

That balance-of-county vote was 59.9 to 40.1 percent against the recall, a 2,329-vote margin. My own precinct ranked second in anti-recall percentage, behind only the 69.3 percent opposition in the Willamina-Grand Ronde precinct.

So, what does it all mean?

Some believe that Berschauer’s 2020 election and 2022 recall win were derivatives of a national conservative antipathy toward all things liberal, real or imagined. Others believe her position on issues carried the day for her — the Westsider Trail, gun sanctuary, COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates, anti-Portland scare tactics. If so, that also tells us much about who we are.

In her victory video, Berschauer said the recall stemmed from her opposition to the Westsider Trail, but twice she called out the “Progressive Left” as her opposition. She accused “the news media” of “being in on it” with “newspaper mailers” — a pure canard.

The first online comment to that video warned of “marxists infiltrating our county positions and schools.”

Perhaps German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was right when he famously said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” But consider this:

The recall failed with only 23.6 percent of registered county voters in opposition; it failed with only 21.4 percent of registered voters in support. And that, it seems, is who we are.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.


Tom Hammer

what percent of registered voters read this column?

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