Cities pick mayors, council members

Most B.G., La Center, Washougal, Camas, Yacolt races decided




Two local mayors had no problems keeping their jobs after Tuesday’s unofficial elections results were tabulated, but the night’s closest race — a four-vote margin — could be part of a city council churn in Battle Ground.

Camas Mayor Scott Higgins, who was appointed in June by the city council, won his bid for a four-year term against former city employee Ken Kakuk, who was fired from his job as the city’s Geographic Information System coordinator.

Higgins, 39, had been on the city council for nine years and was backed by every council member. He said he plans to focus on economic development, look for ways to maintain emergency and fire services, and closely monitor city finances. He will get his chance, claiming almost 82 percent of the vote.

In La Center, Mayor Jim Irish captured a third term by claiming about 67 percent of the vote against challenger Troy Van Dinter. The former member of the city council said he decided to run for mayor during filing week, when it looked as if Irish might run unopposed.

At least one local race will be too close to call for a while: Shane Bowman has a four-vote edge over incumbent Phil Haberthur in Battle Ground’s Position 2 city council race. Haberthur is also Battle Ground’s deputy mayor.

In other races:

• Battle Ground: Including Bowman’s 983 to 979 lead over Haberthur for Position 2, challengers were leading the incumbents in all three contested Battle Ground city council races.

Adrian Cortes held almost 58 percent of the vote in the Position 3 challenge to incumbent Paul Zandamela.

And Philip L. Johnson dominated the Position 7 race with about 66 percent of the vote against Christopher Regan.

• Camas: With Higgins’ mayoral victory and Shannon Turk’s victory in the race for Council Ward 3, Position 2, incumbents held serve in Camas.

Turk claimed about 59.5 percent of the vote against Marga

ret Tweet. Turk, who led the balloting 1,879 to 1,260, has been on the Camas City Council since July.

• Washougal: Two challengers and two city council incumbents were in front Tuesday night, although a couple of the races were fairly tight.

In Position 2, incumbent Rodney Morris held a 41-vote lead over challenger Caryn Plinski.

In Position 3, challenger Joyce Lindsay had almost 54 percent of the vote to apparently unseat incumbent Michael Delavar.

In Position 5, incumbent Jennifer McDaniel held off challenger Niki Anderson, taking about 55 percent of the vote.

Position 7 was another race with some potential for movement, with challenger Connie Jo Freeman (50.88 percent) holding a 52-vote lead over incumbent Molly Coston.

• Yacolt: After nine months of instability, Yacolt has a new mayor in Jeff Carothers.

Carothers captured about 58 percent of the vote. He had 41-ballot edge — 145 to 104 — over Skip Benge, although that’s a sizeable lead in Clark County’s smallest municipality.

Yacolt was guaranteed a new mayor, since interim mayor James Weldon was eliminated from the race in the August primary election.

Weldon had been appointed to replace Joe Warren, who resigned in March after a state audit revealed his office had violated state laws by purchasing materials from a town employee without competitive bidding. Warren ascribed his resignation to unspecified health problems.