Vancouver council candidate cited for driving with suspended license




Vancouver City Council candidate Cory Barnes was cited and released early Monday for speeding and driving with a suspended license, according to Washougal police.

The citations follow Barnes’ string of 11 traffic infractions in Clark and Cowlitz counties over the last four years, with one additional charge of possession of drug paraphernalia from 2007.

Barnes, 24, is challenging incumbent Larry Smith for Position 5 on the Vancouver City Council.

Washougal police stopped Barnes at 1:13 a.m. Monday for driving 15 mph over the 25 mph speed limit in the 600 block of 39th Street, records show. His driver’s license was then found to be suspended.

Barnes said Wednesday that he had failed to pay for prior tickets and he was unaware the state had taken action against his driver’s license as a result.

A Cowlitz County clerk said that two speeding tickets — both for driving 10 mph over the limit — from June 10 and June 16 were both sent to collections. Nor has Barnes paid a ticket in Clark County for driving without a seat belt on July 18 and another for speeding 13 mph over the limit on Aug. 1.

“It’s being taken care of today,” Barnes said Wednesday. “It’s a third-degree infraction — the only reason I was suspended was failure to pay tickets.”

Barnes said that while he was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, it was an underage friend’s, not his. It was a marijuana pipe, but they were not smoking from it, he said.

“I didn’t have (the pipe); I had nothing to do with it,” said Barnes, a Skyview High School graduate who was 19 at the time the February 2007 citation was issued. “It was somebody that was with me.”

Not counting Monday’s charges, court records show Barnes has had five speeding tickets; two tickets for failing to wear a seat belt; one for talking on his phone while driving; one for failing to have his driver’s license on his person; one for failing to stop or yield at an intersection; and one for failing to renew expired registration.

The first-time candidate said that this will be the only time he will discuss his personal life.

“Really, I’m going to continue focusing on my campaign and on the issues and not my personal business,” he said. “I’m running my campaign on bringing new leadership to the city and conservative issues to the council.”

However, he agreed that a person who would be making laws as a city councilor should also follow them.

Barnes, who works full-time as an office manager in Longview, said the hourlong commute each way “is not helpful” in helping him follow the speed limits.

“I’m going to stick with the speed limit all the time,” from now on, he said, adding that others are driving him around until he can get his license returned.

Stephanie Rice of The Columbian contributed to this story.

Andrea Damewood: 360-735-4542 or or or

Columbian reporter Stephanie Rice contributed to this story. Andrea Damewood: 360-735-4542 or or or