Boldt, Madore face off for county seat

Republicans vie for Dist. 2 commissioner job

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter



Marc Boldt

Party: Republican.

Residence: Hockinson.

Age: 58.

Campaign website:

Major endorsements: Building Industry Association of Clark County, Clark County Association of Realtors, U.S. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, State Sen. Ann Rivers and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.

Campaign finances: $73,612, none of his own money.

David Madore

Party: Republican.

Residence: Vancouver.

Age: 61.

Campaign website:

Major endorsements: Clark County Republican Party, Clark County Republican Women, Vancouver City Councilor Bill Turlay, Washougal City Councilor Connie Jo Freeman.

Campaign finances: $268,876, $255,000 of which is his own money.

To learn more

To read the transcript of the recent online chat with Marc Boldt and David Madore, click here

Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt, a Republican seeking his third four-year term, has won endorsements from two of the county's largest trade organizations, mayors from all of the cities in the county and other elected officials including U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and State Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center.

Challenger David Madore's biggest endorsement comes from the Clark County Republican Party.

The all-Republican matchup to represent District 2 makes for one of the most memorable local races in recent memory for two reasons. Madore, a businessman and outspoken critic of the Columbia River Crossing, has contributed a quarter-million of his own dollars to his campaign. The race has caused friction within the Republican party, with two members of the party's executive board resigning over the way Boldt was disciplined for voting with Steve Stuart, the Democrat on the three-commissioner board.

Stuart was re-elected in 2010. Commissioner Tom Mielke's challenger is Democrat Joe Tanner.

Boldt has acknowledged that he has become more of a moderate since his days as a five-term state representative from the 17th District, and his response to falling out of favor with party leaders was, "I think there's a difference between being elected by the party and governing for everybody."

Commissioners, among other things, set land-use policies for unincorporated areas, implement federal and state regulations and, by law, have to approve a balanced budget.

Unlike part-time city councilor positions, county commissioners work full time and earn $102,224 a year.

Madore would be an anomaly among current and former commissioners in that he has a job — owner and chief executive officer of U.S. Digital — that he would not give up if elected. Madore said he will be able to handle the full-time schedule of a commissioner and said U.S. Digital will run fine without his daily presence.

Boldt named as top priorities finding cost-effective ways to maintain services to county residents, including law enforcement, the criminal justice system, health and social services, as well as meeting transportation needs and spurring economic development. He'll also push to continue the trend of regionalizing services, such as what the county has done with mental health, public health and sewers.

The county has been embroiled in a legal dispute over its plan to manage polluted stormwater runoff; the county has claimed — unsuccessfully, so far — that state rules on how slowly newly developed land must drain are too strict and costly.

To create jobs, Boldt said he will continue to work with state and federal elected officials to "set standards for clean water and give us the flexibility to achieve that in a way that protects our environment and at the same time fosters economic development," Boldt wrote in a Columbian candidate questionnaire. Boldt also wrote that he will continue to streamline the county code to eliminate rules that don't provide protection to the public or the environment.

Madore says on his website that if he and Mielke are the majority on the board, they would remove "excessive" county fees and regulations, withdraw support for the current Columbia River Crossing proposal, which includes tolling and light rail, and not raise taxes.

Mielke has said he will not make an endorsement in the Madore-Boldt race.

Development fees have been a hot topic for commissioners, as they've tried to balance encouraging jobs without putting the general fund at risk.

The commissioners' decision to temporarily waive certain development fees this year for private development will come at a cost to taxpayers. Budget Director Jim Dickman estimated that the Department of Community Development, which relies heavily on fees for service, will need $179,000 out of the general fund, which pays for public services.

Finances detailed

In the primary election, Madore finished first in a four-way race, with Boldt edging out Roman Battan, the lone Democrat in the districtwide contest. District 2 includes most of Vancouver east of Interstate 205, Camas, Washougal and other parts of east county.

In the Nov. 6 general election, commissioner candidates run countywide.

Madore's campaign war chest — $268,876, according to the Public Disclosure Commission — ranks as the largest among all candidates statewide seeking a local office. He has contributed $255,000 and his business has contributed another $5,898 in in-kind donations. He has spent $104,206, according to the PDC.

That includes paying $47,747 to Dresner Wickers Barber Sanders, a San Francisco company that brands itself as the "leading consulting firm for Republican candidates," for creating advertisements and buying air time and paying $10,000 to a Tumwater consulting firm, Allied Communications Strategies.

Anna Miller, one of the members of the party's executive board who voted to discipline Boldt before Madore announced his candidacy, has earned $3,000 as Madore's volunteer coordinator.

Boldt has raised $73,612 and spent $58,840. His biggest expenditures have been $9,910 to a Portland company for campaign shirts, banners and signs and $8,349 for postage for mailers.

Stephanie Rice: 360-735-4508 or