Walters: 'I'm in!' in election in Battle Ground

Mayor said earlier in week she was resigning council post

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

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The Battle Ground mayor's resignation was short-lived.

Mayor Lisa Walters started the week with an email announcing her resignation effective Sept. 1. The message cited her need to make "personal changes." As part of the resignation, Walters said she'd bow out of her re-election campaign against Mike Dalesandro, a logistics and operations manager, who previously ran against her in 2009.

But by Thursday, the 12-year council veteran had taken to Facebook to announce she was back in the running and had withdrawn her resignation.

In Thursday's message, Walters wrote, "It's decided. I'm in!"

"Thanks for sticking with me!" the message to Facebook friends says. "I'm sure Mr. Dalesandro will continue his personal attacks on my family as well as my decision to continue the fight."

Walters did not explain why she was re-entering the race. When reached by email, Wal

ters said she wouldn't comment on what happened to her planned move out of the area.

On Tuesday, she said the resignation was the result of wanting to get away from politics and focus on herself.

Dalesandro called the move "confusing to voters."

It wasn't the first reversal.

Before the candidates' filing deadline in March, Walters and Councilman Alex Reinhold, who's also running for re-election, swapped positions. Walters filed to run on the last day, withdrew her name, and then re-filed to run for Position 5, against Dalesandro. Reinhold, who represents Position 5, withdrew and re-filed to run for Walters' current seat, Position 4, against Chris Regan. In Battle Ground, council positions are not delineated geographically, meaning candidates can run for whichever one they choose.

Dalesandro disputed he'd made disparaging remarks about Walters or instigated a smear campaign. He said he believed he was friendly with the mayor prior to his decision to run, which he intended to be against Reinhold.

"She was encouraging me to run (in March)," Dalesandro said. "It's a really interesting and odd situation."

Walters' re-entry into re-election mode will affect another campaign — albeit a nascent one.

Council candidate Richard Brown, who lost his bid for council Position 1 during the Aug. 6 primary, said Thursday he planned to mount a write-in campaign against Dalesandro.

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said Brown could conceivably run as a write-in candidate even though he already lost a primary election, because his candidacy would be for a different position.

But Brown, a Walters supporter, said Friday he'd told her he had no intention of running as a write-in as long as she was still in the hunt.

"I will step down and support her campaign," he said.

Tyler Graf: 360-735-4517; http://twitter.com/col_smallcities; tyler.graf@columbian.com.