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Voters elect Multnomah County's first female sheriff

Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell has been with the sheriff's office for over 25 years. In August, she was appointed the agency's first woman to serve as second-in-command.
Credit: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. — Multnomah County voters made history in Tuesday's primary by electing the county's first female sheriff. 

Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell, who has served as undersheriff with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office since August, won with early returns showing her with more than 60% of the vote. 

She will succeed Sheriff Mike Reese, who was unable to run for reelection due to term limits. 

"Today is also a win for trailblazers everywhere, as I’m honored to be the first woman elected to be your Sheriff," Morrisey O'Donnell tweeted Tuesday night. 

Morrisey O’Donnell started at the sheriff’s office in 1996 as a corrections deputy and has served in various roles before she was promoted to undersheriff. She was the first female to serve as second-in-command in the sheriff's office. 

"Over her 25 years with the agency, she has served in virtually every role as a deputy, lieutenant, captain and chief deputy with assignments in corrections facilities, court services, training and patrol," MCSO said in a news release last August. 

In an interview with KGW last Friday, Morrisey O'Donnell spoke about how she has addressed gun violence as undersheriff, and how she would continue to add resources to tackle the issue if elected. 

"My father was shot in the chest by a 15-year-old boy robbing his store, so I recognize and understand how that sense of safety and security can be ripped away from you," she said.

Morrisey O'Donnell said she is dedicated to working with community groups to "really find those avenues where we can connect with people, where we can really be able to understand what's happening in our communities."

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