Vancouver City Councilor Bart Hansen and opponent John Jenkins easily advanced to the Nov. 2 general election, defeating third candidate Jack King O’Neal III.
With 17,566 votes counted in Tuesday’s primary election, Hansen had nearly 49 percent and Jenkins had 41 percent. King O’Neal received 9 percent of the votes.
Hansen, 35, was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Mayor Tim Leavitt in January, and has since been a stout opponent to cutting police and fire services as the city grapples with massive budget cuts. He’s raised nearly $10,000 in campaign contributions.
“I’m really humbled,” he said Tuesday night. “I’ve been putting out my values and voters responded.”
Still, Hansen didn’t want to jump the gun about his lead. “This election has a long way to go,” he said.
Jenkins, 56, has become a champion of “no tolls, no light rail and not this bridge.” Jenkins also applied for Leavitt’s seat this year; the city council did not choose him for an interview.
After learning the results at Clark College’s Gaiser Hall, Jenkins said he was pleased. “It’s as close as I hoped,” he said. “But, personally, I’d like to have been first.”
To mount a victory, Jenkins said he will continue his “no tolls” message, among others, with more persistence.
King O’Neal, 31, said shortly after he filed for the election that he was simply interested in entering the political process and would not actively campaign. He is a mechanical engineering student at Portland State University and staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Hansen and Jenkins faced one another in a primary race once before, as both campaigned last year for the seat open because of the retirement of Councilor Pat Jollota. They both did not get enough votes to compete in the November general election, and Councilor Jack Burkman won the position.
The winner of this November’s race will have to campaign again to keep his seat next year, when Leavitt’s term would have expired.