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March 20, 2023

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Camas mayor to seek 2nd term

With filing week looming, Higgins faces no challengers

By , Columbian Small Cities Reporter

Camas Mayor Scott Higgins announced plans Tuesday to run for a second term.

Higgins, 43, spent nearly a decade on the Camas City Council before moving into his current position leading Clark County’s second-largest city. The council appointed Higgins acting mayor in 2011 to fill in for former mayor Paul Dennis, who resigned to take over the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association.

That fall, Higgins ran to hold onto the spot for the next four years, capturing 81 percent of the vote in a two-person race. So far, no challengers have emerged with filing week about two weeks out, and Higgins hasn’t heard any rumblings about potential opponents.

“Nobody from the council will run against me, I know that,” he said.

Aside from his college years in Florida, Higgins has spent most of his life in Camas. He’s a graduate of Camas High School and Florida College, and his two daughters attend Camas schools.

He’s also a diehard Papermaker sports fan. Each fall for the past decade or so, Higgins has spent his Fridays moving the chains at Camas High School football games.

“It is truly one of the joys of my life,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Until last year, Higgins also worked as a minister with the Hockinson Church of Christ. Though he stepped down in March, Higgins remains an active member of the congregation.

During his time in office, Higgins has overseen a number of business developments along Fourth Avenue, east of the 192nd Avenue corridor and in a growing tech industry hub north of downtown. He also helped implement the merger of Camas and Washougal’s fire departments and hired former county public works director Pete Capell to be Camas’ city administrator in late 2013.

Higgins says he’s most proud of the continued aesthetic development of downtown Camas and the area’s business growth. Through the recession, downtown Camas never quite suffered the same level of economic instability seen in other parts of the county, and Higgins prides the historic district on having a park-like atmosphere.

Should he win the election, Higgins said he hopes to continue attracting development to Camas’ downtown streets. Higgins wants to see a wave of new commercial and residential growth flow out from the downtown core to Third and Fifth avenues in the next few years.

Today, Camas has a population of a little more than 20,000, and the city is preparing for significant growth north of Lacamas Lake. In the last year, the city has moved forward with a number of infrastructure projects, aiming to attract more tech industry employers to the area west of 38th Avenue and Parker Street, near Fisher Investments’ property.

“Keeping the small-town feel of Camas as we grow, that’s going to be the big challenge,” Higgins said. “We’re just going to really work hard at managing the growth that we have in our city.”

Last fall, the council gave Higgins a $10,800 raise, pushing his annual salary to $26,400. The move made him the second-highest paid mayor in Clark County.

Columbian Small Cities Reporter