David Madore to challenge Commissioner Boldt

U.S. Digital CEO and outspoken foe of light rail says county government fails to help businesses

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

Updated: March 18, 2012, 10:24 PM

 

Businessman David Madore said Sunday he is a candidate for the Clark County commissioner seat held by Marc Boldt.

Madore, founder, owner and CEO of U.S. Digital, said he is running for the District 2 job because county government is too big and is not helping businesses thrive. He is running as a Republican.

The top issue, Madore said, is “the economic decline that we have been experiencing over the last 10 years with the loss of private jobs and closing of businesses that, coupled with the growth of the size and the cost of government, needs to be turned around.”

Boldt, 57, also a Republican, said late Sunday night that he will seek his third four-year term.

In a telephone interview, Madore, 60, said, “The county commission position is more than a full-time job. It is bigger than one person can do. So I will definitely assemble a leadership team that I can draw on for expertise.”

As for U.S. Digital, Madore said it has “a very capable leadership team” and that he could support that team “on an as-needed basis.”

“I’ll dedicate my time to do a very good job,” he said of the commissioner’s post.

Elaborating on his platform, Madore said, “We located here from Southern California 22 years ago and we went through the evaluation process of scouting where would be the best place to raise a family and run a business in the United States. Clark County was clearly the best choice back then but our local government has made it much more difficult and much less competitive since then.

“Government does not create jobs but government can drive jobs away and discourage businesses from locating in our area and growing in our area. The role of local government is to provide a healthy and encouraging environment where businesses can thrive.”

Madore is known for contributing to NoTolls.com. He guessed his spending on anti-tolling work and about 12 local candidates over the past few years totals about $192,000.

Asked about his position on the proposed Columbia River Crossing to replace the Interstate 5 bridge, Madore said this:

“What I am opposed to is light rail. It is inappropriate for our area. We need a third and a fourth bridge without tearing down a perfectly good bridge. The I-5 corridor is full; it will remain full. … It makes much more sense to build a 192nd Avenue bridge and a west Vancouver bridge.”

Asked if he could be seen as a one-issue candidate, Madore said, “Everybody gets a wake-up call and that was the wake-up call for me that something is wrong. But the bigger issue is our local economy, jobs, barriers to businesses … and of course the major project in our community is the CRC.”

Madore said U.S. Digital is a vertically integrated designer and manufacturer of high-tech components. “We export to the world. We don’t ship any jobs overseas. We employ 122 people with great jobs,” he said.

In another commissioner race, Democrats Ron Barca and Joe Tanner are running for the seat held by Commissioner Tom Mielke, a Republican.

The top-two finishers in the Aug. 7 primary, regardless of affiliation, will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

In the primary, the candidates run districtwide. The general election is countywide.

Commissioners currently earn $102,228 a year.

Candidates must live in the district they wish to represent. Commissioner Boldt represents east county, which is District 2.

Madore in 2011 filed to run for a Port of Vancouver commission job but withdrew five days later. He said he did so after “learning from a number of port leaders that the port is in great shape.”

Madore and his wife, Donna, live in Stoney Meadows, off 172nd Avenue and 39th Street. They have three grown daughters.

He said qualities most important to him include integrity and character.

Find more on Madore's Facebook page.