Carothers, Benge knock out Weldon in Yacolt mayoral primary

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

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Skip Benge and Jeff Carothers will advance to the general election for mayor of Yacolt, a position where the mayor is responsible for overseeing town operations in the community of 1,566 people.

In unofficial voter counts released Tuesday night, Benge received 94 votes, or 41.2 percent, and Carothers garnered 91 votes, or 39.9 percent.

James Weldon, recently appointed to the position, dropped out of the running with 43 votes or about 19 percent.

The job pays a monthly stipend of $500.

Benge and Carothers thanked their supporters and others Tuesday night.

“It’s been a fair and real friendly campaign,” Carothers said.

Benge echoed the sentiment, saying, “I hope I can do a good job for them.”

Benge is a recently appointed council member; Carothers unsuccessfully sought appointment to the council three times this year.

The Yacolt Town Council appointed Weldon as mayor on April 4.

The former mayor, Joe Warren, who had served since 2005, stepped down March 7, citing “personal reasons beyond my control.”