Sally Russell has declared victory over Bill Moseley and appears poised to become Bend’s first elected mayor in nearly a century. She also would be the first woman elected mayor.
Russell and Moseley, both city councilors, far outperformed the other four candidates in the race in the first round of election results. Nearly an hour after early results posted, a small crowd was celebrating with drinks and appetizers at a Russell victory party at the Liberty Theater downtown. A block away, the headquarters of Moseley’s software company office and campaign were dark.
Russell said she was “truly blown away and honored.”
“I think it’s an affirmation that Bend wants to work together,” Russell said. “It wants to work collaboratively.”
Russell, 60, was elected to the City Council in 2012 and has served as mayor pro tem since January 2017. Now retired, she’s worked as a nonprofit executive and in marketing and spent nearly a decade on Bend’s planning commission.
She stresses a collaborative approach to governing, and her campaign included encouraging voters to share their vision for Bend.
Russell cited her time on the City Council and working on plans for areas including the Old Mill District and NorthWest Crossing in arguing that she had the experience to lead Bend.
Moseley, 50, is the CEO of a software company and a first-term city councilor who set campaign spending records during his 2016 run. He’s advocated for forming a livability committee, slowing growth by reducing tourism and increasing spending on street construction.
Moseley takes an at times confrontational approach to working with other city councilors and city employees, whom he says the council doesn’t hold accountable.
He did not return a phone call or text message on election night.
Brian Douglass, a 69-year-old disability rights advocate, outperformed the rest of the field, but still captured just a fraction of the vote. Other candidates were Michael Hughes, 47, an attorney and hemp farmer, Joshua Langlais, a freelance photographer who voted for Russell and urged his supporters to do the same in an October Instagram post, and Charles Baer, 49, a security guard.
With Russell likely to win, her seat on the City Council will be filled by an appointed replacement.
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