After one of the most expensive campaigns in Washington this year, auto repair shop owner Don Orange has prevailed in his race for Port of Vancouver commissioner District 1 position over insurance agent Kris Greene.
Orange remained ahead with 63.9 percent to Greene’s 35.5 percent, according to an updated count of ballots released Wednesday afternoon. Although Greene gained a little ground, Orange seems assured of victory.
According to the county’s elections website, 48,007 port district ballots have been tallied, with 29,513 going to Orange and 16,391 going to Greene. Only an estimated 11,500 ballots are left to be counted, and not all of those are from within the port district.
Although Greene has yet to release a statement conceding the race, his campaign appears to have taken down its Facebook page.
The Port of Vancouver congratulated “Commissioner-elect Don Orange” on its Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon.
Orange is an avowed opponent of Vancouver Energy’s plan to build an oil terminal at the port; he and Commissioner Eric LaBrant are expected to form a majority on the port board that will be hostile to the project.
Between the two candidates and outside contributors, more than $1 million was spent on the race.
The Vancouver City Council will choose its next member after the late Scott Campbell won his race. Campbell, a well-known community booster, died Sept. 17, but his name remained on the ballot. He had captured 62 percent of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon.
His election will trigger an application and interview process, and the city council will fill the seat. City residents who are registered voters can apply. The term would be for one year, at which point the appointee can run for re-election. Other interested parties can also file for election.
Mayor-elect Anne McEnerny-Ogle said the city council has not yet set the application process in motion. The current council could set the process in motion, or wait until a new council takes office in January.
Washougal EMS levy passes
The updated tally pushed Washougal’s emergency medical services levy over the minimum number of votes needed to pass. To pass, the levy requires a 60 percent supermajority, plus a turnout equivalent to 40 percent of the last general election. The levy easily won the supermajority on Tuesday, but was short of its validation number.
The levy now sits at 69 percent in favor with 2,001 “yes” votes.
The replacement emergency services levy will impose regular property tax levies of 50 cents or less per $1,000 of assessed valuation for 2018-2023. Levy funds can only be used for providing emergency medical services, provide funding for dual-function paramedic/firefighters and local ambulance transport service, and will allow for a paramedic ambulance to remain stationed in Washougal.
School board races
The latest results in school board races showed the leading candidates holding strong. Incumbent Julie Bocanegra and Ginny Gronwoldt maintained their leads in their Evergreen Public Schools board races, while Wendy Smith and incumbent Mark Stoker led in their Vancouver Public Schools races.
Jake Thomas, Katy Sword, Adam Littman and Katie Gillespie contributed to this report.