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News / Politics / Election

Ridgefield woman says she’ll run in District 2

Former school board member wants to be county councilor

By Kaitlin Gillespie
Published: March 7, 2015, 12:00am

Clark County has its first candidate for the District 2 seat on the Board of County Councilors. Ridgefield resident Julie Olson, a Republican, announced Friday that she would run for the seat.

“I will bring a strong, independent voice to the Clark County Council,” Olson said in a statement.

Olson spent eight years as a member of the Ridgefield school board, from 2005 to 2013, including six years as its chair.

She also made an unsuccessful bid for 17th District state representative in 2012. That year, she ran against Monica Stonier, a Democrat. Olson lost by 140 votes.

Olson called herself a “pragmatic but independent thinker” and a “fiscal conservative” who wants to bring responsible governance to the Clark County council.

“(County government) impacts people directly, very directly,” she said. “I believe (voters) want fair, responsive county government.”

Olson offered no insight on her thoughts on the current council, saying she had no opinion one way or the other on whether the county was succeeding.

District 2 was created after voters approved a Home Rule Charter in November and is currently unrepresented on the county council.

The district covers much of northwest Clark County, including the cities of Ridgefield and La Center.

The newness of the position doesn’t intimidate Olson, she said.

“I think it’s exciting because it is new,” she said. “It’s going to give everyone an opportunity to work through the new process. Because of my experience, I think I can help in that area.”

Olson starts her bid for the seat with support from state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center. Rivers announced Wednesday that she would not run for the newly created Clark County chair seat, which is elected at-large.

Olson’s conservative politics may give her an early edge in the district. Election data from the Clark County Auditor’s office indicate that District 2 leans conservative based on the gubernatorial race.

About 52 percent of voters in 2012 cast votes for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, with 44 percent voting for Gov. Jay Inslee.

According to her announcement, Olson has already received significant support from Clark County Republicans. Her campaign will kick off at 6 p.m. May 15, at the Shangri-La Farm in Fern Prairie, home of state Rep. Liz Pike.

Olson has also received support from 18th District Rep. Brandon Vick, 17th District Reps. Lynda Wilson and Paul Harris and Clark County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick.

Olson is also endorsed by Ridgefield School Board members Jeff Vigue, Scott Gullickson, Steve Radosevich and Becky Greenwald, as well as former Ridgefield Schools Superintendent Art Edgerly.

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