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Politics & Government

Eugene City Council 2020 Primary Election Roundup

Four Eugene City Council races saw three likely winners for Wards 2, 7, and 8, based on Tuesday night's unofficial election results. Meanwhile, the race for Ward 1 appears headed to the General Election. Tight primary results means incumbent Emily Semple and challenger Eliza Kashinsky will appear on November’s ballot.

This post has been updated.

While Semple is currently in the lead against five other challengers, Kashinsky is not far behind. They’ll face off this fall to represent a ward that includes Downtown Eugene.

Asked about what set her apart in this race that saw six total candidates running, Kashinsky told KLCC there's a lot of frustration among voters who want to see officals fufill their promises.

“That’s something that I’ve been doing for years particularly when it comes to issues like housing and housing affordability," Kashinsky said. "How do we create a city that’s sustainable environmentally and economically, and I feel like that message resonated with a lot of people.”

Kashinsky had just over 35 percent of the votes tallied late Tuesday night, and Semple had close to 40. Semple was unavailable for comment on results. She’s seeking her second term on city council. The General Election is November 3.

For Ward 2, Matt Keating will likely be one of the newest members on city council. Snagging more than the needed 50 percent of the vote, Keating will fill current councilor Betty Taylor’s South Eugene seat. At a virtual watch party hosted by the Democratic Party of Lane County, Keating thanked his family and supporters.

“I’m ready to step up and serve in the capacity of city council, fighting for affordable housing, reducing our carbon footprint, investing in mental health services, getting our economy back on track, investing, in our workforce, and getting our workforce safely back into the workplace,” Keating said.

Keating came out ahead of opponent Kate Davidson. Davidson, a nonprofit consultant, told KLCC she’s happy for Keating. She says she looks forward to continuing to work on issues including climate change and affordable housing in her community, even if she isn’t on the council.

“I have learned so much, this have been a wonderful experience, I have enjoyed every minute of it and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to run for Eugene City Council for South Eugene’s Ward 2,” she said.

In Ward 7, Eugene City Council incumbent Claire Syrett will retain her position, after Tuesday’s unofficial election results favored her win. She won close to 60 percent of the votes in that Ward. In a written statement to KLCC, Syrett said grateful to the voters in Ward 7, and for their confidence in her ability to represent them on council.

"In this third term I hope to be able to bring tangible results to our work to reduce homelessness, increasing housing affordability, meet our climate recovery goals and helping our small businesses weather the current economic crisis," Syrett wrote.  "It’s a tall order but these are the challenges before us as a city and I am ready to tackle them in the coming years."

Syrett ran against Douglass Barr, a delivery driver for Food for Lane County, and Charles "Cliff" Gray, a retired bay area bus driver. This will be Syrett’s third term on city council. 

Meanwhile, unofficial results for Ward 8 has Randy Groves leading against opponent Ryan Moore. The winner of this seat will replace councilor Chris Pryor who chose not to seek re-election this year.

Groves is the former Fire Chief for the Eugene-Springfield fire department.  About the possibility of becoming one of newest members on city council, he says he’s excited to get to work.

“And trying to make our community a better place to live. It’s all about continuing to build on good things that have already happened and progress that’s already been made,” Groves told KLCC. “And continue to help move the city to a policy position, towards it being the place that I think most people want to live in.”

Groves’ challenger Ryan Moore was unavailable for comment. Moore previously worked at the State Legislature, the Lane County Drug Treatment Court, and served on the city’s Budget Committee. Official election results are pending.

Note: Matt Keating is a member of the KLCC Public Radio Foundation and a member of the Lane Community College Board. LCC holds the license for KLCC.

Last updated 7 p.m.  5/20

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