Hermiston Voters Elect Primmer to Serve as City’s Next Mayor

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Hermiston City Councilor Doug Primmer, seen here at the April 2024 candidates forum, is the apparent winner in the race for Hermiston mayor. (Yasser Marte/East Oregonian, file photo)

Hermiston will have a new mayor next year if the voting totals hold up and it will be Doug Primmer, the current Hermiston City Council president.

Primmer received 1,032 votes or 51 percent to top three other mayoral candidates in Tuesday’s election. City Councilor Jackie Linton was second with 495 votes or 24 percent, Councilor Nancy Peterson received 331 votes or 16.2 percent, and Manuel Salazar, a Hermiston High School senior, received 173 votes or 8 percent.

If Primmer finishes with more than 50 percent when the results are official, he will be Hermiston’s next mayor. If he falls short of a majority of the votes, the top two finishers will face off in November’s election.

“It’s definitely humbling,” Primmer said Tuesday night. “I would have been very happy to just be one of the top two.”

Primmer will become Hermiston’s 28th mayor and will succeed Mayor Dave Drotzmann, who chose not to run for re-election in order to run for state senate for District 29. Drotzmann is one of Hermiston’s longest-serving mayors, having taken office in December 2012. As of 8:45 p.m., Todd Nash was leading the race for state senate from District 29 with 52 percent of the vote, with Jim Doherty second with 25 percent of the vote and Drotzmann third with 21 percent.

Linton said she was happy for Primmer.

“He’ll do an awesome job,” she said, adding that the race was a “great” experience.

“I met so many awesome people and it made me fall in love with Hermiston all over again,” Linton said.

Primmer, 60, was born in Seattle and moved to Hermiston with his family in 1977. He chalked up his apparent victory to his roots in the community. He has been on the council since 2012. He retired after a 31-year career with the Oregon Department of Corrections. He was recently recognized for 40 years of service with the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office as a rescue diver and reserve patrol officer.

“With me, people know what they are getting,” Primmer said. “People know what I stand for. And being on the council helps considerably.”

Primmer said he will likely start attending the West End Mayors meetings between now and January, but added he has a pretty good knowledge of the role of mayor.

“I’ve been council president for six of the 12 years I’ve been on the council so I know where everything is,” he said.

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