Another Republican has entered the race for Clark County Councilor David Madore’s seat.
John Blom, 32, announced Wednesday that he will run for the Clark County council District 3 seat. Blom, a real estate broker who has been on the Clark County Planning Commission since 2013, said he planned to “bring a collaborative leadership style” to the position, which represents east Vancouver.
“The community is ready for a different voice,” Blom said.
Blom listed transportation issues, fiscal responsibility and “responsible land use” planning in Clark County among his key issues.
Blom already has hands-on experience with one of the county’s most controversial projects: the Comprehensive Growth Management Plan update. Though Blom was not present when the Clark County Planning Commission voted not to recommend Madore’s Alternative 4, a rural-focused alternative for the 20-year growth plan, he voted at a second meeting to reaffirm the commission’s decision. He said Wednesday that he agreed with the rejection of Alternative 4, but wants to pursue other alternatives for rural landowners.
“I think the way to approach (rural zoning) is to look at smaller fixes,” Blom said, such as allowing mother-in-law cottages in rural areas, or allowing for cluster zoning.
Blom also specified concerns about state Highway 14 going toward east Vancouver, where the city is quickly growing.
“That’s going to be a traffic strain,” he said, adding that it will require collaboration and positive relationships with state and local agencies in order to improve transportation in the region.
Blom received the Vancouver Business Journal’s Accomplished and Under 40 award in 2014, and the George C. Marshall Public Leadership Award in 2015.
Republican Gregory Noelck, a 48-year-old physical therapist with HomeCare Southwest, also announced his bid for the District 3 seat early last month.
Madore, the 64-year-old CEO of Vancouver motion-control device manufacturer US Digital, has not announced whether he plans to run for a second term, nor has he filed campaign finance paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
District 4 Councilor Tom Mielke is also up for re-election this year. Democrat Roman Battan of Camas and Republican Jennifer McDaniel of Washougal are competing for the seat. While Mielke has not responded to Columbian requests for comment, the 73-year-old Republican recently told The Reflector and Camas-Washougal Post Record that he intends to seek re-election.
Both races will be ones to watch, as the replacement of either or both far-right conservative councilors could represent a significant ideological shift on the county council.