Rep. Liz Pike files write-in candidacy for county chair

Conservative voters call her only true Republican in chair race

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter

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Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, filed Friday afternoon as a write-in candidate for Clark County council chair.

Pike’s write-in candidacy, which was endorsed by the Clark County Republican Party last month, challenges Marc Boldt, no party preference, and Mike Dalesandro, a Democrat, for the top council seat.

“I’m very grateful to receive the official Clark County Republican Party endorsement for county chair,’’ Pike said in a news release. “I appreciate the trust and confidence placed in me by this grass roots volunteer organization.”

Supporters of the campaign say it ensures that Republican voters have a conservative alternative to the other two candidates.

Boldt in particular has been in the crosshairs, after the former Republican commissioner was censured by the Republican Party in 2012 for decisions deemed too liberal for the party. The Write-in Liz Pike for County Chair political action committee, which by law is prohibited from coordinating with Pike, has continued to attack Boldt, citing what it calls his “liberal voting record.”

By filing, Pike ensures the technical advantage that all votes cast that appear to be in her name are counted. That means votes for “Liz P.,” “Elizabeth Pike” or other iterations can be considered valid write-in votes.

“The sole point of registering as an official write-in candidate is to ensure that no Clark County voter is disenfranchised and that every legal vote counts,” Pike said.

She will also appear on the election results as an official write-in candidate, as opposed to a separate, nonspecific write-in category.

“I was glad to see her,” Elections Supervisor Cathie Garber said. “It really makes it much easier for my workers here. It gives her the advantage of making sure all the variations of her name are counted.”

Pike also echoed previous statements that she will not campaign for the position and will give up her seat in the Washington House of Representatives if elected, saying she would “have loved to campaign full-time for this important job.”

“However, I said all along that my first duty is to represent the citizens of the 18th District in our State Capital. I also gave my word that I would proudly serve as Chair if the citizens elect me in a successful write-in campaign. I am honoring these commitments. I am keeping my word,’’ she continued.

If she’s elected, the Clark County Republican Party precinct committee officers from the 18th Legislative District would nominate three people to replace her. The final decision would rest with the Clark County council.

Christian Berrigan, spokesman for the write-in campaign political action committee, was thrilled to hear Pike had filed. There have been “disingenuous arguments” made that because Pike didn’t file, it must mean she doesn’t want the job, Berrigan said.

“I think it will probably get rid of some of that so we can get onto issues of some more substance,” he said.

Berrigan also said voters are likely to see more from the political action committee in the coming days, including television ads he said are slated to start Saturday.

Among the campaign’s top supporters, according to its Facebook page, are Republican Councilor David Madore, who lost his own bid for chair earlier this year. Public Disclosure Commission filings show no contributions from Madore yet, though he is well-known for spending tens of thousands of dollars on his own campaigns as well as for other conservative causes and candidates.

Ballots for the general election will be available Oct. 16. The general election is on Nov. 3.