By News-Register staff • 

Peralta retains seat on Mac City Council

[Updated Thursday 2 p.m.]

By the time early election returns were announced at 8 p.m. on election night, incumbent McMinnville City Councilor Sal Peralta already had a commanding lead in defending his Ward 1 seat from challengers Chris Chenoweth and Leanna Gautney.

In unnoffical final results, Peralta had 1,780 votes, or 52.02 percent, in the Southwest McMinnville ward; Chenoweth had 1,135 votes, or 33 percent; and Gauntey received 504 votes, or 14.66 percent.

“I’m just really grateful to the voters of this ward for electing me to this position,” Peralta said.

The secretary of the Oregon Independent Party, he was appointed in January to fill the council vacancy left by Kevin Jeffries. Gautney had also applied to fill the vacancy.

It was an unusually contentious race for a council position, with heated rhetoric occasionally exchanged between Peralta and Chenoweth over campaign tactics and views on development and the homeless.

Peralta said he plans to continue the positive direction the council has been taking over the past year.

“I appreciate the work both my opponents put in,” Peralta said. “I think their efforts helped me be a better candidate.”

Chenoweth, who owns the McMinnville computer business Acupro Oregon, ran as a conservative bucking the status quo on the council.

He did not return calls from the News-Register. Earlier in the campaign, he told supporters on Facebook he did not respond to questions from News-Register reporters.

Gautney conceded early Tuesday evening. “It was a good race, “ she said. “I’m glad I was able to be a part of it. I would congratulate the winner and step aside and let him do his job.”

This was her first political campaign, she added, and there were many positive aspects. “Some other things I wouldn’t wish on everyone,” she said. “It takes a strong person to get through the process and put themselves out there in the community.”

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