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UPDATE: Campbell ousted from Vancouver council seat

By Andrea Damewood
Published: August 16, 2011, 5:00pm

Vancouver City Councilor Pat Campbell has been ousted from the general election by his two primary opponents, second-day election returns released Wednesday afternoon show.

Campbell, a first-term incumbent, was still trailing challengers Bill Turlay and Anne McEnerny-Ogle by margins that — while narrow — are too great to overcome, County Elections Supervisor Tim Likness said Wednesday.

Turlay, a vocal Columbia River Crossing critic, captured 34.61 percent (5,599) of the votes, while McEnerny-Ogle, a neighborhood activist, took 33.27 percent (5,382) of the votes. Campbell got 31.32 percent of votes and was trailing McEnerny-Ogle by 315 votes.

Only about 350 more ballots are expected to roll in countywide, of which about two-thirds will include the Vancouver race, Likness said. Even if every single ballot went for Campbell, it wouldn’t be enough for him to overcome the difference, he said.

“That one is basically over,” Likness said of the only too-close-to-call race that remained from Tuesday’s election.

Campbell said he’s more disappointed by the low — 21.6 percent — voter turnout than the results of his election.

He did not accept campaign donations or endorsements, or post signs, and Campbell said he wouldn’t change a thing about the way he ran the race. Campbell unseated longtime incumbent Dan Tonkovich in 2007 with an online-only campaign.

“I worked as hard as I could in city council and took positions that should have been clear to people,” he said.

He declined to say yet if he’d endorse McEnerny-Ogle or Turlay, but said he’s looking for the candidate who could compromise best with other council members the — not which one is more closely aligned with him politically. He said unity is key on a council where myriad day-to-day decisions must be made.

Campbell called on residents to research and vote carefully in November.

“I haven’t wasted any time in my four years, and I’ve got … months left,” he said. “I did the best I could. That doesn’t mean everyone’s gong to come out happy with you, but if you do the best you can. … I’m happy with it. I’m just filling a position; I didn’t own it.”

Clark County elections officials counted about 3,000 ballots on Wednesday, and the margins between the three competitors remained roughly the same.

In the tied Woodland city council race, updated election numbers gave Marshall Allen a one-vote edge over Tony Brentin. They were initially deadlocked at 205 votes following Tuesday’s preliminary count. Both will advance to the Nov. 8 general election.

The primary elections will be certified Aug. 31.

Andrea Damewood: 360-735-4542 or andrea.damewood@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reporterdamewood or www.twitter.com/col_cityhall