Port of Vancouver commissioner District 1 candidate Kris Greene has conceded to his opponent Don Orange.
In a statement posted to Facebook Thursday night, Greene said he “would like to congratulate Mr. Orange and wish him a successful tenure as Commissioner.”
As of Thursday afternoon and 1,100 votes left to count, Orange had captured 64.64 percent of the vote, to Greene’s 35.36 percent, according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office website.
Out of 52,099 votes counted, not including write-ins, Orange collected 33,677 to Greene’s 18,422. There are still 1,100 votes left to be counted in Clark County, however not all of those are were cast from the port district.
On its Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon, the Port of Vancouver congratulated “Commissioner-elect Don Orange.”
In his statement, Greene wrote, “Despite the outcome of this heavily polarized race, I hold my head high. My campaign ran an incredible race. We worked hard, met many wonderful people, and forged lifelong relationships.”
The election was largely seen as a referendum on the Vancouver Energy rail-to-marine oil terminal, which the company is proposing to build at the port. As a result, the race was hotly contested and closely watched.
It was also occasionally home to soaring rhetoric about the financial future of the port, the health of the environment and the candidates themselves.
The was one of the most expensive port elections in state history, bringing in more than $1 million between the two candidates.
Orange campaigned on ending the lease with the company and received a large amount of financial support from the environmentally focused Washington Conservation Voters.
Greene’s election bid was heavily financed Vancouver Energy and its supporters, but he only publicly committed to supporting the state’s evaluation of the project.
In his statement, Greene said he ran for port commissioner out of dedication to his community and a desire to make the Port of Vancouver the most prosperous port on the West Coast.
“My involvement in our community will not end here. Today I am more inspired than ever to serve my neighbors and help ensure Vancouver and all of Clark County become our own economic driving force,” Greene wrote.
He also decried the low voter turnout in Clark County, pointing out that fewer than a third of registered voters actually cast ballots this election cycle.
“I also am committed to inspiring the voters of Clark County to be more engaged in our election process on local, state, and federal levels,” he wrote. “We owe . . . veterans past and present our sincerest efforts to exercise our rights as Americans and make our voices heard by voting in every election cycle. I encourage you all to become more involved in political grassroots, you can make a difference.”