Judge Wulle loses re-election bid

By Craig Brown, Columbian Metro Editor



Voters have turned Superior Court Judge John Wulle out of office, and may do the same to County Commissioner Marc Boldt.

In the judicial race, voters were choosing challenger David Gregerson over incumbent Wulle by nearly 11 percentage points, according to Tuesday night election returns. Wulle had 44.6 percent of the votes compared with 55 percent for Gregerson.

Wulle, who has been under fire from critics and is currently under investigation by the state Judicial Conduct Commission for losing his temper and making inappropriate comments from the bench, becomes the first incumbent member of the county bench to lose an election since 1975.

In the county commissioner races, Republican David Madore was besting incumbent Republican Marc Boldt, 31.1 percent to 29.1 percent. Madore, a critic of local government in general and the Columbia River Crossing project in particular, is the owner of U.S. Digital.

Boldt was running third in the top two primary behind Madore and the only Democrat in the race, Roman Battan. Battan had 29.3 percent. Running as an independent, former Vancouver City councilman Pat Campbell was attracting 10.5 percent of the vote.

With only 287 votes separating Madore, Battan and Boldt, the race could change as more ballots are totaled in the coming days.

In the other commission race, incumbent Republican Tom Mielke was comfortably ahead of his challengers, with 40 percent of the vote. Democrat Joe Tanner of Ridgefield was second with 31 percent. Both seemed almost certain to advance to the November election, easily besting three other lesser-known challengers. Unlike the primary, where county commission candidates are chosen by district, the November vote will be countywide.

In the other judicial race, incumbent Judge Diane Woolard easily won re-election over Josephine Townsend. Because Gergorson and Woolard won a majority of the vote, both are elected to office without having to appear on the November ballot.

Though both candidates will advance to November, another interesting contest was the state Senate race in the 17th District, where Democratic state Rep. Tim Probst was within a percentage point of longtime Republican Sen. Don Benton. Both sides are raising and spending large sums of money, and the campaign has already been marked with strident accusations on both sides.

In a crowded Public Utility District commissioner field, the advancing candidates appear to be frequent commission candidate Jim Malinowski and former Columbian business editor Julia Anderson, with Sherry Erickson in third place, about 550 votes back.

Camas voters approved an emergency medical services levy to maintain ambulance service. The Camas/Washougal area is the only city in Clark County with government-operated ambulance service. The levy was passing with 54.5 percent approval. It needs only a simple majority.

Other winners Tuesday: Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler (54 percent) and Democrat Jon T. Haugen (40.5 percent) for Congress; Julie Olson and Monica Stonier for state House, 17th District; David Shehorn and Liz Pike for 18th District House.

In the other 18th District House race, a write-in campaign by Republican Peter Silliman appeared to be falling short. Only 1,053 write-in votes were tallied, compared with 7,575 for Republican Brandon Vick and 4,219 for Republican Adrian Cortes, who previously announced he wished to withdraw from the race.

In all, 49,808 ballots were tabulated Tuesday night, representing 21.25 percent of Clark County’s registered voters. Thousands more ballots will be counted in the days to come. Those later ballots will include any dropped off at the elections office or remote sites on Tuesday, or mailed on Monday or Tuesday.

The next totals will be available Wednesday afternoon.

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