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Straw Drawing Settles Mayor’s Race

December 14, 2000

WATERLOO, Ore. (AP) _ An election stalemate for the mayor’s office in this tiny central Oregon town was settled in just seconds with an old-fashioned tie-breaker _ drawing straws.

Incumbent Mayor Richard Paull drew the short straw Tuesday night, losing to veteran city council member Phillip Bohna after weeks of uncertainty.

Both candidates won 45 votes in the Nov. 7 election. A recount produced the same results.

So election officials proposed drawing straws, but it didn’t go very smoothly.

At first, no one could find a straw. People hunted for coffee stir sticks and someone suggested using a pencil. In the end, council member Judy McKenzie donated her soda straw, which was broken into two pieces.

Both candidates agreed the results were fair.

``He’ll have the headaches now,″ said Paull, who has been mayor for the past two years and from 1970 to 1974. ``This is the end. I’ve been in politics for the last 30 years. I think I’ve done my bit. It’s time for a break.″

Bohna will be sworn in on Jan. 9 in Waterloo, about 80 miles southeast of Portland.

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