Camas man joins commissioner race

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

Published:

 
photoRoman Battan, candidate for Board of Clark County Commissioners.

A Camas resident said Tuesday, March 27, he will run for the Board of Clark County Commissioners.

Political newcomer Roman Battan, 31, said he will file as a Democrat against Commissioner Marc Boldt, 57, a Hockinson Republican seeking his third term.

David Madore of Vancouver, 60, and a Republican and CEO of U.S. Digital, has also said he’ll run for the District 2 seat.

Filing week is May 14-18.

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

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

Battan, a graduate of Camas High School and Clark College who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington State University Vancouver, said Tuesday that he’s always loved politics but hasn’t been directly involved other than voting.

He has been involved with Watershed Stewards, a program of WSU Clark County Extension and the Clark County Clean Water Program. The program trains volunteers on ways to improve watersheds, and Battan has listened to presentations from county employees on environmental challenges such as polluted runoff.

In December, he was laid off from his job as director of sales at Vancouver’s Capstone Technology.

Battan said the timing feels right to shift his focus from the private sector to public policymaking.

He said his campaign will focus on government efficiency, transparency and accountability.

“My vision of government is to have everybody feel like you can talk to your county representatives,” he said.

And to raise his profile, he plans to do plenty of talking to voters.

“I have four pairs of tennis shoes I plan to wear out between now and August,” he said.

He supports the most polarizing issue, the Columbia River Crossing, as a golden opportunity to improve infrastructure and make the county more desirable to employers.

Prior to working for Capstone, Battan paid his way through college by working for Wells Fargo.

District 2 covers east county, including parts of Vancouver east of Interstate 205.

In District 1, Democrats Ron Barca and Joe Tanner are running for the seat held by Commissioner Tom Mielke, a Republican seeking his second term.

District lines were recently redrawn following the release of the 2010 U.S. Census figures. District 1 covers north county and District 3 covers Vancouver and parts of Hazel Dell.

Each district has approximately 142,000 people.

Commissioner Steve Stuart, a Democrat who represents District 3, was re-elected in 2010.

Commissioners serve four-year terms. They currently earn $102,228 a year.