Filing week begins for political hopefuls

Although many candidates have announced their intentions, races may offer surprises by Friday

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor



Filing week

Positions up for re-election that Clark County residents can file for (candidates must live in the area they hope to represent):

U.S. Senate seat currently held by Maria Cantwell

U.S. House seat currently held by Jaime Herrera Beutler


Lieutenant governor

State auditor

Secretary of state

State treasurer

State attorney general

State insurance commissioner

State superintendent of public instruction

State commissioner of public lands

State senate and representative positions in the 14th, 17th, 18th, 20th and 49th legislative districts

County commissioner from District 1 and 2

State Supreme Court positions 2, 8 and 9

Court of Appeals Position 1 in Division II, District 3

All 10 Clark County Superior Court positions

Clark County Public Utility District commissioner for District 1

222 Democratic precinct officer positions

222 Republican precinct officer positions

Although some Southwest Washington political races are already shaping up, things could become more complicated during candidate filing week, which begins today.

Candidates can file to have their name on the primary ballot for open congressional, legislative, county commissioner, superior court, public utility district and precinct committee officer seats. The primary takes place Aug. 7, with the top two winners in each race, regardless of their party affiliation, advancing to the Nov. 6 general election.

In Clark County, that means other challengers could emerge in the race for U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s seat. The first-term Camas Republican has one challenger, commercial airline pilot Jon Haugen, a Democrat. Educator Elizabeth Uelmen, also a Democrat, was in the running but has suspended her campaign.

County commissioners

Both Clark County Commissioner races have also gained interest prior to filing week. There’s a four-way race unfolding for the seat held by Commissioner Marc Boldt, 57, a Hockinson Republican seeking his third term. Boldt’s challengers for the District 2 position are political newcomer Roman Battan, a Democrat;, David Madore, CEO of U.S. Digital, a Republican; and former Vancouver City Councilor Pat Campbell, an independent.

In the District 1 race, Republican County Commissioner Tom Mielke faces opposition from Battle Ground Democrat Ron Barca, a lean practitioner for Boeing; and Ridgefield Democrat Joe Tanner, a former state lawmaker.

Legislative seats

Two state lawmakers will go head-to-head in the race for senator of the 17th District. State Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver, announced he will leave his seat to challenge incumbent state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver.

Three candidates have already stepped in to try to fill Probst’s vacated position. Those expressing interest include Republican purchasing agent Mike Appel, Republican school board president Julie Olson and Democratic teaching coach Monica Stonier.

Also in the 17th District, state Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, faces opposition from electrical

engineer Jim Gizzi, a Democrat.

In the 18th District, two Republicans are running against each other to fill a state representative seat being vacated by Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama. Former La Center City Councilman Dale Smith and former Camas City Councilwoman Liz Pike are in that race.

Orcutt will lose his eligibility to run for the seat this year because the district boundaries have changed following the 2010 Census. Orcutt has said he plans to seek election in his new legislative district, the 20th.

Unopposed so far

No opponents have made an official announcement to run against state Sen. Joseph Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, and state Reps. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver; Ann Rivers, R-La Center; and Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver.

State Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, has announced he will leave his seat to run for state auditor. So far, one candidate plans to run for his seat: health care worker and lobbyist Annette Cleveland, also a Democrat.

Democratic businessman and equal-rights advocate Ty Stober was briefly in the race against Cleveland, but he suspended his campaign to focus on the political fight to pass Referendum 74. Approval of the referendum would uphold a recently passed law allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Eight of the 10 Clark County Superior Court judges are unopposed so far. Superior Court Judge John Wulle has one announced opponent, private practice attorney David Gregerson. Superior Court Judge Diane Woolard is being challenged by private attorney Josephine Townsend, Vancouver’s former city prosecutor.

How to file

Candidates filing for races specific to Clark County alone can do so through the Clark County Elections Department. This includes races in the 17th, 18th and 49th Legislative Districts, because they are contained within county lines, but it excludes the 14th and 20th Districts.

If filing for races that reach beyond county lines, do so through the state’s election office or website. For more information, visit the office’s website or call 800-448-4881.

A candidate can begin filing in-person at the Clark County Elections Department at 8 a.m. today, and they have until 5 p.m. Friday to do so. The period for online filing begins at 9 a.m. today and ends at 4 p.m. Friday. The county’s election department is located at 1408 Franklin St. in Vancouver.

To file online, visit the county election department ‘s website. A candidate must have a valid email address, be registered to vote in the area they hope to represent, and be able to pay the filing fee online using a valid MasterCard or Visa credit card.

If the position pays more than $1,000 a year, the filing fee is 1 percent of the annual salary. Filing fees go into the county’s elections fund. It is seldom done, but candidates also can, instead of paying the filing fee, submit a petition with a number of signatures of registered voters equal to the number of dollars of the filing fee.

Stevie Mathieu:;;; 360-735-4523.