Former County Clerk Kathy Beckett jokes with interim clerk Chris Walker, who was running for the clerk's position. She received 44.33%. - Jim Craven

Jackson County clerk race heads for November runoff

The crowded race for Jackson County clerk will continue until the November general election after none of the candidates received enough votes to win the race.

With 78 percent of the county's total votes counted Chris Walker gathered 44 percent of the vote, which ensured she would appear on the November ballot.

The race for second, on the other hand, was far from decided late Tuesday. A mere 480 votes separated the three candidates. The second-place winner will run against Walker this fall.

At press time, Cheryl Avgeris held the second-place spot with 6,100 votes. She was followed by Colleen Roberts' 5,906 tally and Karen Spoonts' 5,620 votes. Rick Schreffler's bid was all but over after he logged just 1,815 votes.

"I had hoped to get to 50 percent and have it be over," Walker said. "It was a personal goal because I put a lot into this election."

Walker, a 13-year veteran in the Jackson County Clerk's Office -- the first three in elections -- and niece of Jackson County Commissioner Jack Walker, was appointed to the position when Clerk Kathy Beckett retired in February. Beckett stepped down after 25 years serving as the county clerk. See correction below.

Walker has considered running for the position over the years, but feels that now is the right time after taking over for Beckett. She said it is important to keep the election process open to the public to ensure voter confidence.

Avgeris also works in the clerk's office, serving for 16 years, and has worked her way up to supervisor of recording. Like Walker, she has done all the jobs in the department.

Both are friends and have promised to refrain from engaging in negative campaigning.

"When we decided to run we made sure we kept open communication around the office," Walker said. "We tease each other about it sometimes to keep a good working relationship."

Avgeris said she hopes the results lasted through the night because she feels ready to take over as clerk. She is looking forward to the challenges posed by the November general election.

"I want to get my name out there and let people know who I am and what I stand for," Avgeris said. "It's a lot of work to look forward to."

Also in the running is Medford Deputy City Recorder Karen Spoonts, a seven-year veteran of the job. She has 12 years total working in government and has said she would do her best adhere to state laws if elected clerk.

Candidate Colleen Roberts, who owns Sensational Sweets in Eagle Point, said her business acumen would make her well suited for the position.

Neither Roberts nor Spoonts were immediately available for comment late Tuesday.

"We move on from here," Walker said. "The election process should be something everyone should experience."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified Chris Walker's familial relationship to Commissioner Jack Walker. It also incorrectly described her work history and Cheryl Avgeris' work history in the clerk's office. This version has been corrected.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail

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