Democrat Craig Pridemore conceded defeat Friday to Republican Jeanne Stewart, giving control of the Board of Clark County Commissioners to three Republicans for the first time in years.
“I just contacted Jeanne Stewart and offered her my best wishes for the future,” Pridemore said on Friday. “She seemed to be in good spirits.”
The latest election tally put Stewart ahead by 622 votes.
In the race for the 17th Legislative District, Position 1, Republican challenger Lynda Wilson increased her lead over Democratic incumbent Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, by 1,060 votes. With about 3,200 ballots left to tally countywide, that lead appears insurmountable.
“We’re happy with this,” Wilson said Friday night. “I don’t see that it’s going to turn around.”
Wilson had not heard from Stonier on Friday and said she would be cautious until the returns were certified, but she added, “What an opportunity of a lifetime to represent the people in my district and the people of Washington state — that’s an incredible honor, and I’m thrilled to be able to do it.”
Wilson is a local businesswoman and the former chair of the Clark County Republican party.
Stonier said earlier in the day she would wait until Monday to decide whether to concede.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey could not recall the last time the county had an all-Republican board but said it could have happened in the 1970s.
Stewart did not respond to telephone and email messages.
The county race ended up being expensive, with both candidates spending thousands leading up to the election. Stewart spent 12 years on the Vancouver City Council, before losing her position last year to Alishia Topper.
Pridemore was a county commissioner from 1999 to 2004, when he won election to the state Senate.
While campaigning, Stewart said she would be an independent voice on the county board. She opposed the home-rule charter, which will change the structure of local government in 2015.