No winners emerge in judicial race

None of the seven judicial candidates vying for the seats of two retiring Jackson County Circuit judges garnered the necessary majority to be declared a clear winner Tuesday night.

But preliminary results show the favorites in a recent Oregon State Bar poll leading their opponents by wide margins.

Of the four candidates vying for Position 8, Judge William Purdy's seat, defense attorney Lisa Greif won 17,808 votes (47.5 percent), according to 9:30 p.m. results by the Jackson County Elections Office.

"Obviously I'm feeling ecstatic," Greif said. "It's hard to sum up the feeling in words."

This was Grief's second time campaigning for a judgeship. Judge Ron Grensky defeated Greif in November 2006.

"This time I had a broader base of community support," said Greif. "I had a lot of people pulling for me and making the rounds. I think things just kind of fell into place."

Joe Charter, a Jackson County justice of the peace, garnered 9,188 votes (24.5 percent) and will challenge Greif in the November election. Medford attorneys Tom Dzieman with 5,492 (14.7 percent) and Paul Henderson 4,912 (13.1 percent) lost their bids Tuesday night.

"I'm quite pleased with the results," Charter said. "I feel quite confident about the fall (election) because I'm the only candidate with judicial experience."

Former County Counsel Doug McGeary led the three candidates vying for Position 6, retiring Judge Rebecca Orf's seat. McGeary captured 15,046 votes (42.8 percent).

"It was really a matter of getting name recognition out there," said McGeary. "We had a good campaign."

Jackson County Deputy District Attorneys Tim Barnack and John Norton tallied 13,068 votes (37.2 percent) and 6,947 (19.8 percent) respectively. Barnack will face off against McGeary in the general election.

"I'm looking forward to the November election," said Barnack. "I want to congratulate both my opponents for running a clean campaign."

The preliminary primary election results echoed those of the Oregon State Bar poll &

at least for the two front runners. Local attorneys chose Lisa Greif and Doug McGeary as their favorites in April's poll.

McGeary sent floral bouquets to several attorney firms as a reminder to vote in the bar poll, prompting complaints from some that the inclusion of McGeary's campaign information was a violation of Oregon elections law. McGeary said he didn't know whether the controversy helped or hurt his candidacy. He has not heard from the state Elections Division regarding alleged complaints, McGeary said.

"Some rallied around. Others were concerned. We'll see what happens," McGeary said. "I want to be a judge and I feel deeply that I am the best candidate."

All candidates agree Jackson County courts need to find new ways to efficiently centralize information and streamline the hearing of cases &

from traffic tickets to divorce filings to murder convictions.

During the campaign, Greif and Barnack advocated for specialty courts created to cover domestic violence cases. Barnack voiced concerns the system was not "being tough enough on domestic violence." Greif said the tremendous number of domestic violence cases, and those involving parental offenders, create multiple juvenile cases.

McGeary said Jackson County courts need to use efficiencies, methods and practices that work in other courts. When he was Jackson County's counsel, he took code enforcement violations out of the circuit court, McGeary said.

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