POLK COUNTY – When Valerie Patoine was appointed to finish the term of former Polk County Assessor Doug Schmidt, she was confident that she was ready for the job.
Now the voters of Polk County have confirmed that, electing her to the office on a 74 percent to 25 percent victory over opponent Robb Witters. Patoine received 15,723 votes to Witters’ 5,517. Witters, of West Salem, has worked in the Marion County Assessor’s Office since 2008.
Patoine has worked in the assessor’s office for 17 years, and was appointed to the seat in March 2019 after Schmidt’s retirement.
“It felt great that the people who know me and the quality of my work recognized that I was the best choice,” Patoine said. “Being elected told me that the voters also recognized and validated what those closest to me already knew.”
She said going into election night, she felt confident she would win. While waiting for preliminary results to be posted, Patoine was sitting around a firepit with her husband, Chris; son, Ryan, Schmidt; and Peggy Graham, her co-campaign manager.
“We had our phones out trying to refresh the Clerk’s page, only to find out by a text message from a friend with a screenshot of the result,” Patoine said. “There was a lot of high-fiving, knuckle bumping and hollering going on.”
Patoine thanked those who supported her, but said she will work hard on behalf of all citizens of Polk County.
“I love Polk County and what I do. I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue to do what I love. I look forward to our County opening up and getting out there and meeting everyone,” Patoine said. “I am committed to serving the citizens of Polk County to the best of my ability, whether they voted for me or not.”
Polk County Assessor’s results
Robb Witters – 5,317 (25.20 percent)
Valerie Patoine – 15,723 (74.53 percent)