Rivers, Pike, Vick victorious in 18th District

Trio of Republicans cruise to easy wins

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

 
photoAnn Rivers

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."

State legislative election 2012 — Clark County results

Other Maps: President | Ballot Measures | County Commissioner

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.