Democrat wishes GOP rival well, says low voter turnout hurt her bid
By Lauren Dake
Columbian staff writer
Democratic state Rep. Monica Stonier has conceded defeat to Republican challenger Lynda Wilson in the most competitive legislative race in Southwest Washington.
Stonier said she sent Wilson an email Sunday afternoon after it became clear she had lost her 17th District re-election bid.
“I let her know I wished her well and that I hope she understands I have respect for anyone who is willing to step forward and put their name on the ballot,” Stonier said. “It’s not easy to do that and anybody who is going to give the community an option deserves respect.”
Monday’s latest election results showed Stonier trailing by 1,134 votes.
Stonier, who served one term, attributed her loss to a lackluster voter turnout.
“I door-belled more than anyone in the county. I raised a lot of money, I had more volunteers coming into the campaign from all professions and both sides of the aisle,” Stonier said. “I’m proud of the race I ran and don’t think I could have done anything differently to increase voter turnout.”
Stonier said she’ll continue to work on some of her projects from the community level. She plans to continue pushing for affordable housing in the county and participating in the healthy living initiative.
But when it comes to a future political career, she wasn’t enthused but didn’t completely rule it out either.
“Politically, I have to say it’s a tough ask to continue to run such a strong campaign that requires so much time and energy in a district that will continue to swing one way or the other,” she said, adding it was too soon to start thinking about her political future.
On Friday, Wilson, a local businesswoman and former chair of the county GOP party, said she was felt it was an “opportunity of a lifetime” to represent the people of the 17th Legislative District and she was thrilled at the race’s results.
In the race for the county commission, Democrat Craig Pridemore conceded Friday to Republican Jeanne Stewart. He had led on election night, but she overtook him Friday and continued to outpoll him Monday.
Stewart spent 12 years on the Vancouver City Council before losing her position last year to Alishia Topper.
Monday’s tally had Pridemore trailing by 772 votes or 49.47 percent of the votes to Stewart’s 50.23 percent. If that margin holds, no recount will be necessary.
Stewart will take her seat Nov. 25, as soon as the election is certified, because the current occupant, Democrat Ed Barnes, was an appointee. Barnes did not run for election.
There are about 2,000 ballots left to be counted, according to Cathie Garber, the county’s election supervisor.