Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt has pulled into second place behind Republican David Madore, according to updated primary election results released Wednesday.
With thousands of ballots still to be counted, Madore has a 336-vote lead over Boldt and seems a safe bet to advance to the November general election.
Madore said Wednesday that he would prefer Roman Battan as an opponent because he would rather give voters a choice between a Republican and a Democrat than “a Republican and a pretend Republican,” referring to Boldt.
Boldt said he’s a Republican with conservative values who understands that the job of a commissioner sometimes involves implementing the will of the state, even if he doesn’t personally agree with the rules, because counties are creations of the state.
Regardless of who wins the race, that’s not going to change, Boldt said.
Boldt, who has a 133-vote lead over Battan, said he’s optimistic he will remain in second place.
Battan, however, said he’s not ready to concede.
“It’s just a matter of waiting,” Battan said Wednesday. “The only thing we can do is be patient.”
As of Wednesday, Madore, owner of U.S. Digital, has 31 percent of the vote, Boldt has 29 percent and Battan, who has worked in sales, has 28 percent.
Former Vancouver City Councilor Pat Campbell, who ran as an independent, took 10 percent of the vote. Write-ins accounted for the balance.
Results will be updated again at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said an additional 8,187 ballots were counted Wednesday and estimated his office will tabulate 11,000 to 12,000 ballots Thursday.
Initially, Kimsey had hoped more ballots would be counted Wednesday, but he said the process simply takes time, as signatures on each ballot have to be inspected and ballots with write-in candidates have to be tallied. Tuesday’s results only included ballots that had been received by Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday, 10,361 ballots were delivered to drop-off locations around the county before the 8 p.m. deadline, and 3,954 ballots were delivered to the red drop box in downtown Vancouver. The elections office received 6,512 ballots in the mail Wednesday.
Kimsey said accuracy matters more than speed.
Still, he said he always has a goal of getting current with ballots by the Friday after an election day, and said he should exceed that goal and get current Thursday.
Of the 11,000 to 12,000 ballots left to be counted, an unknown percentage of those ballots will be from commissioner District 2, which includes most of Vancouver east of Interstate 205, Camas, Washougal and other parts of east county.
As of Tuesday evening, with 14,242 votes counted, Madore led Battan by 250 votes and Boldt trailed Battan by 37 votes.
An additional 2,380 votes were included in the commissioner results released Wednesday.
The top two finishers will run countywide in the Nov. 6 general election.
Commissioners serve four-year terms and currently earn $102,228 a year.