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Jefferson County residents speak in wake of contentious sheriff’s race; Heckathorn concedes to Pollock

(Update: Adding video, comments from residents)

Jason Pollock to become new Jefferson County sheriff

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- After a hard-fought, controversial race, appointed incumbent Sheriff Marc Heckathorn conceded Wednesday to challenger, Senior Deputy Jason Pollock.

As of Wednesday morning, Pollock had 3,255 votes, or just over 52%, to 2,695 votes, or just over 43% for Heckathorn and nearly 4% (231) votes for Rick Du Pont, a second challenger who Heckathorn said he asked to run so that the voters' decision would come in May, not November; if there were only two candidates, the race would have been delayed until fall.

The Jefferson County Clerk's Office said results that were postmarked by Tuesday were still arriving, but it's unlikely to tip the scale much.

I spoke with some Jefferson County residents to find out who they supported and why.

“I voted for Marc Heckathorn," Madras resident Dorothy Burgess said.

In support of her choice, she recounted a frightening event that happened a few years ago.

“We had a shooting next door, and Marc and the former sheriff (Jim Adkins) were both here guarding my house," Burgess said.

She added that Heckathorn's training and existing experience as sheriff would have made him fit to continue in the job.

When asked about her thoughts on Pollock, Burgess said she honestly doesn’t know if he’ll make a good sheriff, but she’ll find out soon.

Another resident who asked to remain anonymous said she voted for DuPont, not because she had faith in the candidate, but simply put, she was out of options.

“I didn’t want to just not vote, I guess. It was kind of an anti vote," the Madras woman said. "I didn’t vote for Marc Heckathorn because I don’t agree with some of the things he’s done."

One of those things she said, was expediting the election process to May by bringing DuPont into the race. 

NewsChannel 21 reached about to both Heckathorn and Pollock for an interview. We were unable to get ahold of Pollock.

On Wednesday morning, Heckathorn issued and send to NewsChannel 21 this concession statement:

"Of course we are disappointed by the election results from last night, but my commitment to Jefferson County is unwavering.

"I pledge to do my part to accomplish a smooth transition of administrations. The citizens of Jefferson County deserve no less.

"I do not know when the transition will take place as my term as sheriff does not conclude until January of 2023," Heckathorn concluded.

The race took a major turn recently, when retired Sheriff Jim Adkins and District Attorney Steve Leriche issued an endorsement of Heckathorn's challenger, upset by the former undersheriff's critical comments about Adkins' tenure during the campaign, and a claim he refuted that he had withdrawn the county from receiving tips from a federal task force that targets child pornography distribution.

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. Going to be a lot of hand wringing until January about who keeps a job at the SO. Guessing Marc will try to get a job at Madras PD. Guaranteed there will be a couple of retirements for sure.

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