Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart, who has been the subject of speculation as to whether he would challenge U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in 2012, told the Clark County Democratic Central Committee on Monday that he will not run.
“For much of this year, there’s been speculation about whether or not I will be running for Congress in 2012. While I greatly appreciate the support and sentiment of those who have asked me to run, and I do believe it’s very important to have strong candidates fighting for our families in the 3rd Congressional District, I will not be running. My family (which is blessed to be getting bigger with a son on the way ), my community (that still inspires my service), and my work (as the only Democratic Commissioner, fighting for balance and forward thinking for Clark County), are here, not in the other Washington,” Stuart wrote in an email to The Columbian.
“Once again, my sincere thanks to those who have thought enough of me to ask, my apologies to those who will be disappointed by my decision, and my continued commitment to serve the people and place I love,” Stuart wrote.
Stuart, 40, was elected in 2010 to a second four-year term on the Board of County Commissioners.
The other commissioners, Republicans Tom Mielke and Marc Boldt, are up for re-election next year.
Stuart, who has a 21-year-old son from a previous marriage, and his wife, Heather, are expecting a baby in early March.
Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, already has one confirmed challenger.
Jon T. Haugen, a 52-year-old commercial pilot for Delta Air Lines who ran for state Senate in 2008, said Monday he will run.
Another possible candidate who has yet to confirm? Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.