REDMOND, OR -- The Republican race for State House District 53 is too close to call. Redmond realtor and business owner Jack Zika has just an 11-vote lead over activist Ben Schimmoller.
Schimmoller told KBND News Tuesday night, he doesn't mind being patient while every vote is counted, "We're going to wait overnight and make sure the final votes get in and tallied, and we're eager to see what the final results are." He says if Zika is determined as the winner, his work isn't over, "I'm going to support and make sure a Republican is elected in the general election for House District 53."
Democrat Eileen Kiely will take on the GOP winner in November. She easily defeated Dr. Bill Trumble, who conceded early in the evening. Kiely says she's ready to take the job, "We have difficult problems to solve. And that's why I'm running, because I have experience in solving difficult problems." She tells KBND News, "Our legislature is supposed to sit down and solve problems together. Not see it all the same way, but actually to continue talking. And that's what I'm prepared to do for the people of Central Oregon."
The District 53 seat has been held by State Representative Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) since 2003; he's retiring at the end of the year.