By editorial board • 

Hinton gets the nod for county clerk

On paper, the Yamhill County clerk’s race looks to be a one-sided affair.

Before being named acting county clerk earlier this year, Keri Hinton served as information systems supervisor for Recology, executive assistant to the county board of commissioners, and chief deputy county clerk. In addition, she completed college coursework in the relevant fields of business and accounting.

Her opponent, Cory Fribley of Newberg, has invested 20 years in retail management, most recently as assistant manager of a jewelry store in Bridgeport Village. He boasts no education, training or experience in supervising elections or maintaining public records, the two mainstays of the clerk’s office.

What’s more, Hinton is mounting a polished, professional and well-funded campaign. Fribley’s is more of a bootstrap affair.

However, Fribley impressed us with his meticulous attention to detail, his articulate and informed understanding of the office’s mission, and his dedication to impartiality in public service.

Given Hinton’s superior credentials, we can’t recommend voters elect Fribley to the office. But if she prevails, as we suspect she will, we can recommend he consider applying for the chief deputy post and she consider him for it.

She impressed us as a quick study who’s already gone a long way toward mastering the job. He impressed us as someone who could follow her lead, given the chance.

Concerns have been raised about the political and financial backing Hinton has been getting in the non-partisan race from the Republican Party and local party leaders, including County Commissioners Mary Starrett and Lindsay Berschauer.

However, an open and forthright interview helped allay those questions with us. What’s more, her endorsers include Sheriff Tim Svenson, Treasurer Kris Bledsoe and an array of former commissioners, including Mary Stern, Stan Primozich and Rick Olson — reputable officials bringing an informed view.

Hinton stressed her commitment to upholding America’s long tradition of free and fair elections. She said the public can and should be fully confident of the integrity of its election process, and pledged to work to that end.

We endorse her on that basis.



$70k ballot mistake in Newberg isn't a great start.