Gwyn up but vote close in Salem City Council runoff

South Salemites likely won’t know who their city council is for at least a few days.

Deanna Gwyn and Dynee Medlock were separated by fewer than 200 votes following initial ballot returns Tuesday night in a runoff race for the Ward 4 seat.

Council races, which are nonpartisan, are typically decided during the May primary, but the two political newcomers finished just six votes apart in May, forcing a November runoff.

Following a second Marion County ballot count around 10 p.m., Gwyn had 2,994 votes, 51.48%, to Medlock’s 2,822.

“All I can say is we worked hard, we have done our very best and now it’s on the hands of the voters and we’re hopeful,” Gwyn said Tuesday night. Medlock did not immediately respond to a call from Salem Reporter.

The ward covers the south central part of the city, the areas surrounding Southeast Commercial and Sunnyside streets south of Kuebler Boulevard.

Gwyn, 59, is a principal broker with Blum Real Estate and treasurer for the Mid-Valley Association of Realtors and said she was motivated to run by the worsening homelessness problem in Salem. She said better collaboration with Marion County was one way she’d address the issue as a councilor.

Gwyn raised substantially more money in the campaign, with major support from real estate and housing firms and political action committees, and was endorsed by former Mayor Chuck Bennett and the city’s police and firefighter unions.

Medlock, 43, is a network specialist and web developer with Mac A to Z who said she would leverage public-private partnerships to address homelessness and use her previous experience as a neighborhood association board member to get answers to resident concerns.

She was endorsed by Councilor Jackie Leung, who currently holds the ward 4 seat and did not seek re-election, as well as Mayor Chris Hoy and other progressive members of the city council.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.