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In the end, it's Svenson for sheriff

Election 2014 — The operations chief outdistances challenger Tim Casey by 186 votes in closest county election in many years


Although signature issues delayed the official results of the extremely tight race for Yamhill County Sheriff for two weeks, Tim Svenson remained confident that he would maintain his approximately 200-vote lead over rival Tim Casey.

At the same time, the current operations captain wouldn’t let himself celebrate victory until the last vote had been counted.

Svenson was finally able to do that last week, as county clerk Brian Van Bergen released official results Nov. 19 that showed he finished with 186 more votes than Casey to win the closest Yamhill County election in at least 10 years.Svenson

“We had a nice party to celebrate their work the night of the election, but it was really hard to celebrate then,” Svenson said. “Now it’s time that we can celebrate in our success and I thank everyone that I can think of that helped me on this because there’s a lot that goes into running a campaign.”

Svenson finished with a total of 16,933 votes to 16,747 for Casey. The margin of 186 votes was well above the 0.2 percent state law requires to trigger an automatic recount, which in this cases was 67 votes.

Casey does have 35 days to request a recount but would have to pay for it out of pocket unless the overall result of the election is in fact changed. He said he has not made a decision on that front.

“I’m just taking it one day at work at a time,” Casey said. “I’m not sure what’s in store for the near future or the distant future.”

Casey added he was especially proud and thankful for the endorsements of the office’s deputies and the current county commissioners, as well as the effort of his campaign committee.

He said that he did remain hopeful even as the only remaining votes that could be counted were approximately 350 with signature issues and continued to hit the pavement to encourage those voters to complete the process.

“Unfortunately, a majority or a number of the people said it was over because what they read in the paper and they didn’t see the sense in going in and doing that,” he said. “But we did gain ground after all that. We went out and fought to the very end.”

Svenson admitted that even last week there wasn’t much of a celebration, but that maybe he’ll be able to do that in earnest when he spends the Thanksgiving holiday with family this weekend in Sun River.

“The big thing now is that the office knows who is going to be the next sheriff and now we can start working on making some plans for the future of how the command structure is going to look and how we can move forward,” Svenson said. “Now we can just get back to doing business.”

He said he does expect to consult outgoing Sheriff Jack Crabtree when it comes to establishing a command structure within the office, but hopes to quickly determine a process for doing so and make sure staff is aware of the direction in which he plans to take the office.

That includes naming an operations captain to succeed himself.

“I’m pretty confident that we have a staff within our office that will be competent enough to do that job,” Svenson said.

Svenson also said that a lot of the division that was naturally created within the office because of the election has begun to subside, as many who supported Casey have reached out to congratulate him and say they are on board with the office.

“I think you’re going to have a handful that are going to take a little longer to come back, but I think the majority of the office is ready to move forward now that they know who their next sheriff is going to be.”

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