Former Vancouver City Councilor Pat Campbell announced Monday that he plans to run for Clark County commissioner.
Campbell, 67, said he will join the now four-way race as an independent for the seat held by Commissioner Marc Boldt, 57, a Hockinson Republican seeking his third term.
Political newcomer Roman Battan, 31, is running as a Democrat, while Republican and CEO of U.S. Digital, David Madore, 60, has also said he’ll run for the District 2 seat.
Campbell served one four-year term on Vancouver’s city council, but lost his re-election bid in last August’s primary.
He said he sees himself as having a shot to take down Madore, who he said will undermine the county’s ability to function if he’s elected. Campbell said he’s a fan of Boldt’s ability to compromise in his swing position on the three-member county board, but fears that Boldt’s recent sanction by the county Republican party will undercut his support from conservatives.
“The Republicans who are active, the ones that will go out and campaign and help you, they’ll be working for Madore,” Campbell said.
He said that if Madore were elected, and Republican Commissioner Tom Mielke holds his seat in this year’s election, the county government “would come to a stop.”
Mielke, Campbell said, “shouldn’t be on” the board, either.
“I think there needs to be people on the county commission that are going to work together, and not be so black-and-white,” he said.
In response, Madore said that he welcomes Campbell’s participation in the race. “More choices are good for the county,” he said.
On the topic of the controversial Columbia River Crossing, Campbell called it a compromise that he supports, including extending light rail into Clark County. A longtime environmental advocate, he said he’d bring that perspective to a county commission that he believes lacks that concern.
“I’m not sure we have anybody like that on the county commissioners board,” he said. “That’s why we’re getting in trouble on stormwater issues.”
Campbell, whom many criticized for not campaigning hard enough to retain his city council seat, said he will seek endorsements in this race. He also said he will accept donations to his campaign, although he may limit the amount people may give.
He has a history of running as both a Democrat and Republican. He ran as a Democrat for state representative in 2006 — he defeated Jack Burkman in the primary, but lost to Republican Rep. Jim Dunn in the general election. He ran as a Democrat, unsuccessfully, for House Position 1 in the 17th Legislative District in 2004. In 2002, Campbell ran unsuccessfully as a Republican against Boldt, who then served as a state representative. He lost to Pat Jollota for a seat on the Vancouver City Council in 2005, but defeated Dan Tonkovich to win a nonpartisan Vancouver City Council seat in 2007.
District 2 covers east county, including parts of Vancouver east of Interstate 205.
In District 1, Democrats Ron Barca and Joe Tanner are running for the seat held by Mielke, a Republican seeking his second term.
District lines were recently redrawn following the release of the 2010 U.S. Census figures. District 1 covers north county and District 3 covers Vancouver and parts of Hazel Dell.
Each district has approximately 142,000 people.
Commissioner Steve Stuart, a Democrat who represents District 3, was re-elected in 2010.
Commissioners serve four-year terms. They currently earn $102,228 a year.