Smooth sailing for Westside incumbents
No major surprises popped up in state or county candidate races or local ballot issues affecting the Westside in the Nov. 4 election.
Incumbents representing all or parts of the Westside were easily re-elected - District 3 County Commissioner Sallie Clark (second term), District 18 State Rep. Michael Merrifield (fourth term) and District 21 State Rep. Bob Gardner (second term). All but Merrifield, a Democrat, are Republicans.
Winning the District 12 State Senate seat was Republican Keith King, a former District 21 state representative who had left that office after 2006 because of term limits.
Four ballot issues failed that could have reduced local taxes (City Questions 200 and 201) or raised them (County Question 1A and School District 11 Question 3E).
Clark said she was pleased with keeping her commissioner seat by defeating first-time Democrat opponent Pam Berry, but noted on the other hand that because of the ailing national economy and the county's tight budget, "it's a challenging time to be reelected."
She pointed to the 2009 county budget, which calls for cutbacks that she said will result in fewer Sheriff's deputies, slower criminal prosecution and reduced Health Department services, for examples.
A major supporter of 1A, which sought a 1-cent sales tax to help with city and county police and fire costs, she was disappointed by its defeat. "We have to regroup and go back to the drawing board, to find something better in terms of what voters will approve," she said. "I'm anxious to hear from the public about why they did and didn't vote for it."
Gardner beat Democrat Anna Lord by almost the same margin he had when they first ran against each other in 2006. Merrifield has won by increasingly larger margins over Republican challengers in each election since 2002.
Here are the final results of the above contests:
D-3 County Commissioner
Sallie Clark (R) - 37,130 (66.0%)
Pam Berry (D) - 19,135 (34.0%)
D-12 State Senate
King (R) - 29,012 (55.9%)
Pete Lee (D) - 22,827 (44.1%)
D-18 State Rep.
Michael Merrifield (D) - 16,736 (63.2%)
Katherine Szot (R) - 9,730 (36.8%)
D-21 State Rep.
Bob Gardner (R) - 19,065 (58.3%)
Anna Lord (D) - 13,586 (41.7%)
For - 61,601 (40.2%)
Against - 91,788 (59.8%)
For - 69,671 (45.5%)
Against - 83,289 (54.5%)
Yes - 95,810 (40.0%)
No - 143,633 (60.0%)
Yes - 41,102 (43.5%)
No - 53,418 (56.5%)
Westside Pioneer article