Tuesday's top two primary provided local residents with a flood of answers, but also a deluge of "howevers."
Our advice: Don't jump to conclusions about what happened Tuesday (except in four judicial races that were finalized in the primary). Many news stories remain to be reported before the Nov. 6 election. Many stump speeches remain to be preached, each potentially a gaffe-rich environment.
As we wait for more votes to trickle in over the next several days and until primary results are certified on Aug. 22, here are six answers, along with their respective "howevers," as we see it:
Is Tom Mielke bullet-proof?
Answer: Not at all. Three-fifths of the electorate opposed him in the primary.
However: That's a formidable lead the incumbent Republican Clark County commissioner has over Democrat Joe Tanner: Almost nine percentage points. The stage is set for an intriguing campaign leading into the fall.
Is David Madore for real?
Answer: Yes, indeed, and the Republican novice has a first-place standing in the primary to prove it. That, too, is an impressive showing in race for District 2 county commissioner, especially against a popular incumbent.
However: Madore has a lot of work remaining. More than two-thirds of primary voters favored someone else. With the only Democrat in this race taking less than 30 percent of the votes, Madore has a lot of convincing to do as he woos Republican and Democratic voters in the next three months.
Is Marc Boldt through, as a county commissioner?
Answer: Not yet. The Republican incumbent county commissioner trails Democrat Roman Battan by only 37 votes. And remember: Votes received after primary day often favor Republicans, especially in Boldt's District 2 (part of east Vancouver, plus Orchards, Camas and Washougal).
However: A third-place standing, even if he moves into second place in later vote counting, is a major disappointment for any incumbent. Boldt's spat with the local Republican hierarchy might have won him votes from independents, but it also probably cost him votes from the GOP camp.
Can a sitting Superior Court judge — for the first time in more than three decades — be beaten by a rookie challenger?
Answer: Ask John Wulle. His infamous, volatile temper — plus the superb campaigning skills of David Gregerson — led to what many believe is an unprecedented near-tectonic shift on the local bench.
However: No "however" here. This race is over, decided in the primary. Incumbent Superior Court Judge Diane Woolard also won impressively. In the state Supreme Court races, incumbent Justices Susan Owens and Steve Gonzalez won statewide races (although Gonzalez appears to have finished second in Clark County voting.)
Can a Clark County candidate advance past the primary in a statewide race?
Answer: Not this time, it appears. Craig Pridemore, outgoing state senator from Vancouver, stands third among four candidates for state auditor.
However: Pridemore took 37.1 percent of the votes locally and 20.3 percent statewide. Nice try, Craig.
Do Columbian editorial board members know what they're talking about?
Answer: Depends on whom you ask; 78.5 percent of our primary endorsees either advanced or won.
However: As we always say, endorsements are only opinions, to be shared or disputed as you see fit.