Pendleton’s George Murdock beat out four other candidates on Tuesday to become Umatilla County’s next commissioner.
Murdock tallied 2,547 votes, or 29.8 percent, to turn back Jerry Baker of Athena, who received 2,174 votes, or 25.5 percent. Terry Fife of Pendleton finished third with 1,825 votes, or 21.4 percent. Jack Esp of Echo got 1,190 votes, or just under 14 percent. Tom Bailor of Pendleton garnered 521 votes and Michael Cannon of Hermiston finished with 265 votes.
Murdock has been serving as the interim superintendent of the Douglas ESD in Roseburg. Previously, he was publisher and editor at the East Oregonian from 2007-09. Prior to that, Murdock served as the superintendent of the local education service district for eight years.
Murdock will fill out the remaining term of Bill Hansell, who was elected to the state Senate in November. Murdock will be up for re-election in 2014.
Longtime Umatilla County Commissioner Dennis Doherty will step down now that Hansell’s seat has been filled. Doherty was set to retire from the board of commissioners in 2012 and Hermiston’s Bill Elfering was elected in November to take Doherty’s seat. Doherty, however, agreed to continue as commissioner in Hansell’s place on the board until a successor was elected.
For complete election results, visit the Umatilla County website.