Clark County voters will have 123 candidates to choose from in the November election to fill 15 freeholder spots.
The nonpartisan board of freeholders will then undertake the task of drafting a new county charter, to be offered back to voters for approval as soon as November 2014. The new charter would allow the county to be governed by its own set of rules, as long as those rules don’t conflict with the U.S. or Washington state constitutions, or state laws.
The massive turnout of candidates more than doubles the previous freeholder election in Clark County, held in 2000, when 52 candidates sought 21 positions in what would become a failed charter attempt.
Mike Heywood, chair of the local Democratic Party, said he was “amazed” by the turnout.
“The Democratic Party is interested in a board of freeholders that can make some progressive changes and create a charter that has an honest chance of passing,” Heywood said. “I see a solid list of candidates right now.”
Clark County is divided into three voting districts — matching the districts for county commissioners — and voters will each select five freeholders from their district. Voters represented by Commissioner Tom Mielke vote in District 1, voters represented by Commissioner David Madore vote in District 2, and voters represented by Commissioner Steve Stuart vote in District 3.
Heywood has filed for the District 3, Position 1 spot on the board, but said he intends to withdraw if challenger Pat Jollota stays in that race.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said he too believed there was a strong field to choose from in the freeholder election.
Kimsey, a Republican, started the bipartisan Team ClarkForward effort with Stuart, a Democrat. The group has stated it believes in creating an elected county executive position and expanding the board of county commissioners from three to five.
“I have spoken to a number of candidates who have filed from all across the political spectrum who believe we would be better served to have better checks and balances in our Clark County government structure,” Kimsey said. “I think it’s fantastic to see this level of interest.”
A message left for Lynda Wilson, chair of the local Republican Party, was not returned Friday night.
Freeholder positions are nonpartisan and unpaid.
For more information, visit the election department’s website, call 360-397-2345, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the department at 1408 Franklin St. in Vancouver.
o District 1, Position 1: Vancouver residents Garry E. Lucas (Clark County sheriff), Morris Foutch, William (Bill) Ryckman, Marlene (Korczakowski) Adams and Scott McElhaney, Ridgefield residents Ron Onslow (mayor of Ridgefield) and Darren S. Wertz, and La Center resident Dale Smith.
o District 1, Position 2: Vancouver residents Donald A. Leonard, Doug Ballou and Dan Sockle, La Center resident Ann Rivers (state senator), and Brush Prairie resident Tom Lawrence.
o District 1, Position 3: Battle Ground residents Scott Edwards, Richard Rylander and Jacqueline (Jackie) Lane, Ridgefield residents Joseph Zarelli (former state legislator) and Bridget Schwarz, Amboy resident David A. Darby, Vancouver resident Robert (Rob) Lutz, and Brush Prairie resident Tim Podhora.
o District 1, Position 4: Vancouver residents Ben Meyer, Steve McGillis, Sharon Ferguson, Norman Harker, Debbie Larner, Steve Foster, Chris Lockwood, Newt Rumble and Fiona Humphrey, La Center residents Troy Van Dinter (former La Center city councilor) and Peter Silliman, Brush Prairie residents Ken Poyneer and Mark Gawecki, and Ridgefield resident John Main.
o District 1, Position 5: Vancouver residents Patricia Reyes (Duitman), Troy Maxcy, Wendy Lyn Smith, Sherry Erickson and Patrick Bourcier, Ridgefield residents Randy Mueller and David Standal, Battle Ground residents Ralph Akin and R. (Bob) Freund, Brush Prairie resident Dick Deleissegues and Yacolt resident Patrick O’Rourke.
o District 2, Position 1: Vancouver residents Rob Perkins, Joel Littauer, Cheryl Bledsoe, Diana H. Perez and Jamie Hurly, and Camas residents Thomas Hann and Nan Henriksen (former Camas mayor).
o District 2, Position 2: Vancouver residents Tracy S. Wilson and Esther Schrader, Camas residents Lloyd Halverson and Ken Kakuk, Brush Prairie resident Debbie Abraham and Washougal resident John W. Bryden.
o District 2, Position 3: Vancouver residents Judie Stanton (former Clark County commissioner), Jim Martin and John Burke, Washougal residents Loa Ma’o and Roger L. DeRoos, and Camas residents Russell Boten and Liz Pike (state representative).
o District 2, Position 4: Vancouver residents Roger Neilson and Dimitry Mishchuk, Camas resident Paul Dennis (former Camas mayor), and Washougal resident Michael Delavar.
o District 2, Position 5: Vancouver residents Chuck Miller, Jake Smith and Adam Baldwin, Brush Prairie residents Marc Boldt (former Clark County commissioner) and Anthony (Tony) McMigas, and Camas resident Bentley Brookes.
o District 3, Position 1: Vancouver residents Pat Jollota (former Vancouver city councilor), D. Michael Heywood, Sunrise O’Mahoney, Craig Riley and Ryan Palmer.
o District 3, Position 2: Vancouver residents Val Ogden (former state legislator), Rob Figley, John Lowell Gilbert, Jeanne Schaefer-Ringo and Carolyn Crain.
o District 3, Position 3: Vancouver residents Jim Moeller (state representative), Bruce A. Samuelson, Jerry W. Keen, Debbie Peterson, Lowell D. Miller, Mike Woodward, Keith E. Bellisle, Alice Williams and David Gray Jr.
o District 3, Position 4: Vancouver residents Temple Lentz, Dan Barnes, Kris Fay, K. Peter Henrickson, Alex Veliko, Winde Bekins Chavez, Frank L’Amie, Don Yingling, Michael James Barry, Gene C. Ringo, Kyle Greenwood, Bill Hughes, Adrian Gomez and Sally Fisher.
o District 3, Position 5: Vancouver residents Jim Mains, Thomas Richard Higdon, John W. Caton, Jerry Oliver, James Taylor (Jimmy Tee), Jackie Marsden, Mike Yancey, Bill Cismar, Jack Harroun, John Jenkins, Bob Carroll, Henry Saathoff, Mark Monroe and Jim Dunn.