Rivers, Pike, Vick victorious in 18th District

Trio of Republicans cruise to easy wins

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Published:

 

Ann Rivers

Other Maps: President | Ballot Measures | County Commissioner

Benton vs Probst -- 17th District Senate Race

KEY: Dark blue = Democrat Tim Probst led by at least 10 percentage points; Light blue = a majority voted for Probst; Light red = a majority voted for Republican Don Benton; Dark red = Benton led by at least 10 percentage points. (Benton won by just 76 votes.)

Stonier vs Olson -- 17th District House race

KEY: Dark blue = Democrat Monica Stonier led by at least 10 percentage points; Light blue = a majority voted for Stonier; Light red = a majority voted for Republican Julie Olson; Dark red = Olson led by at least 10 percentage points. (Stonier won by just 140 votes.)

Vick vs Cortes -- 18th District House race

KEY: Dark purple = A large majority voted for Republican Brandon Vick; Light purple = a smaller majority voted for Vick. (Vick's opponent, Republican Adrian Cortes, didn't win a majority in any precinct.)

Stonier-Benton overlap

KEY: Purple indicates precincts where the majority of voters cast ballots for both Stonier and Benton.

Benton vs Probst under votes

KEY: The darker the shade of purple, the more ballots were left blank in this race.

Stonier vs Olson under votes

KEY: The darker the shade of purple, the more ballots were left blank in this race.

Vick vs Cortes undervotes

KEY: The darker the shade of purple, the more ballots were left blank in this race.

Republicans Ann Rivers and Liz Pike apparently will continue to serve as legislators in the 18th District, according to preliminary election results, while Republican Brandon Vick will serve in the district’s Position 1 House seat.

All three had comfortable leads over their opponents Tuesday night.

Election returns showed Sen. Rivers, R-La Center, had nearly 67 percent of the preliminary vote, while Democratic challenger, Ralph Schmidt, 70, earned about 33 percent of the vote.

Last-minute ballots turned in on Election Day will continue to be counted in the next several days. About 57 percent of the ballots mailed to registered voters in the 18th District had been counted by officials Tuesday evening. Officials are predicting an 81 percent voter turnout in Clark County.

Rivers, 46, was out to dinner with friends when she saw the result come in on an iPad. She then headed to the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver to celebrate with fellow Republicans. A couple hundred people packed a ballroom at the lodge; a live band played classic rock hits in the background.

“I’m thrilled in the confidence the people have shown in me by such a large margin,” she said, beaming. “I’m going to work to live up to their expectations. … I’m exhilarated. I just want to get to work.”

Until recently, Rivers was a member of the state House. She was appointed this summer by Clark and Cowlitz county commissioners to finish the term of Sen. Joseph Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, who resigned in May. She was required to win this election to keep her Senate seat.

Pike, a Camas business owner, was appointed to finish Rivers’ Position 1 House term in August, while she simultaneously ran for the district’s Position 2 House seat. On Tuesday evening, Pike, 52, had nearly 60 percent of the preliminary vote in the Position 2 House race while her Democratic opponent, David Shehorn, 68, had 40 percent.

“I’m ready to get to work,” Pike said Tuesday evening. “I’m really honored and humbled all at the same time. I think that my message of reforming Olympia resonated with the voters. I’m excited about the prospect of making this a more business friendly state and getting Clark County back to work.”

In the race for Rivers’ old House seat, Position 1, Vick had 66 percent of the vote Tuesday evening, and his Republican opponent, Battle Ground City Councilman Adrian Cortes, had 31.5 percent of the vote.

“I’m very excited about the returns tonight,” said the 28-year-old Vick, former chairman of the county Republican Party.

“We had a unique situation with two Republicans running against each other, but I think what this race really proved is that hard work does pay off. … (I am) blessed to be in this situation and to represent the people of the 18th District.”

Cortes, 36, dropped out of the race before the Aug. 7 primary, but his name remained on the primary ballot. Vick and Cortes both advanced in the state’s top-two primary, and Cortes decided to re-enter the race later in August.

The 18th District includes a large chunk of north Clark County and also stretches down to Camas and Washougal.

State legislators earn an annual salary of $42,106, plus a $90 a day allowance to cover expenses such as food and lodging while on state business.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523; stevie.mathieu@columbian.com; http://www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or http://www.twitter.com/col_politics.