By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Johnston leading over Wytoski in run for commissioner

Kit Johnston
Kit Johnston


Dayton marijuana and nursery stock grower Kit Johnston, running for his first elected office, is leading Dayton Mayor Beth Wytoski by 960 votes in the race for the seat currently held by County Commissioner Casey Kulla, who did not file for re-election.

In updated returns Thursday, Johnston held 51.26% of the vote to Wytoski’s 48.44%, an increase from his lead Tuesday night. County Clerk Keri Hinton told the county board of commissioners on Thursday the county still had about 5,000 ballots to count, from those that had come in to date.

Ballots mailed by or on election day will be counted if they arrive at the county clerk’s office within seven days.

Johnston declined to comment on Thursday.

Wytoski told the News-Register she hasn’t yet given up hope for a turnaround.

“This has been an amazing adventure,” Wytoski said. “I am so proud of my campaign. We built a 100% volunteer team that crossed political, personal, and regional lines. I didn’t rely on any campaign professionals but designed my own website, created ads with my friends, and garnered enough support to knock on doors, text and call voters, and install more than 100 highway signs without party support. My husband managed my finances, and I ran my campaign while working full-time, serving as mayor, supporting the Oregon Mayors Association, and raising my three children.”

She said her team had worked hard.

“We stayed positive. We followed the rules. We focused on my experience, plans, and the potential of the county. We built new friendships with folks from around the community. If it is not my time to lead Yamhill County as a Commissioner, I will find another role where I can make a positive difference and continue to serve the people and place that I love,” she said. “This period of extremism and divisiveness will end. And the path forward will be broad enough to accommodate many viewpoints and life experiences. The leaders will be reasonable, collaborative, and kind. I plan to keep fighting for that future.”


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