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GOP State House Primary Has 36-Vote Margin

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The results for the Republican nomination for a state House seat in eastern Linn and Marion Counties are getting narrower.

Lebanon grass seed farmer Jami Cate holds a 36-vote margin over Scott Sword, a logging company executive from Sublimity in the contest in House District 17.

Cate hasn't declared victory yet. "I find this race is still too close to call," she wrote in a Facebook message to supporters posted late Thursday. "I know everyone is anxious to know for sure, but I urge you to be patient."

Meanwhile, Sword isn't ready to concede. "We may not know the (final) results for some time," he wrote on Facebook on Friday morning.

Most ballots have been counted, but the Marion County elections office says it won't update its totals until next Wednesday afternoon.

Cate and Sword were the two leading vote-getters in a Republican primary that featured six candidates on the ballot.  The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Paige Hook in November. Hook is a Stayton City Councilor and has worked for legislative Democrats at the Oregon capitol.

The HD-17 race does not feature an incumbent. State Rep. Sherrie Sprenger, R-Scio, announced last year she would not seek re-election to the state legislature. Sprenger is running for a spot on the Linn County Commission. She was the top vote-getting in Tuesday's Republican primary for that seat.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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