Incumbent Gary Williams loses East Lane County Commissioner seat

Challenger Heather Buch won the seat with 56 percent of the vote.

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 9:27 PM
Updated: Nov 6, 2018 9:49 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Commissioner Gary Williams has lost his East Lane County seat to challenger Heather Buch.

Buch, who works for St. Vincent de Paul and as a real estate broker, received 56 percent of the vote. Williams took 44 percent.

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Leading up to the election, both candidates said that adding jobs and more affordable housing were issues they’d like to address if elected.

Buch said her experience will help the county add more affordable housing.

“We really need somebody with that housing background to lend their expertise to make some big decisions that we need to make to move forward on our housing needs locally,” Buch said during the campaign.

Both sides received strong financial support during their campaigns. Buch raised more than $170,000, including money from Oregon realtors and several unions.

Williams raised over $200,000, much of it from business interests including timber companies.

Congressman Peter DeFazio endorsed Buch, while Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp endorsed Williams.

Williams was appointed to replace Faye Stewart in 2017.

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