A familiar face will join the race for the new Clark County council chair.
Former county commissioner and state legislator Marc Boldt announced Sunday his bid for the position, pledging to bring effective leadership and open dialogue to the dais.
“Having served two previous terms as commissioner of Clark County, I believe I am the best-qualified person to bring our county government real solutions instead of just saying ‘no,’ ” Boldt said in a statement.
Boldt, a truck driver, will run as a conservative Republican, he said.
“This means I pledge to conserve the values that have made our country great,” he said. “But as I have done in the past, I will serve and listen to everyone. I believe in putting people over parties, even if it costs you.”
Boldt said his priorities would include the smooth implementation of the home rule charter, which voters approved in November. It’s too soon to say whether the council has succeeded on that front without the full board of councilors, Boldt said, but added that he wants to “really make sure that we get our lines of communication and authority right.”
Boldt added that he wants to continue improving mental health services, especially in the Clark County Jail, which has recently revamped its approach to mental health in order to reduce suicides.
Boldt, who has 18 years of elected public service, was defeated by Councilor David Madore in 2012.
That year, Boldt lost more than an election — he also lost the backing of his own party. The Clark County GOP board in 2012 sanctioned Boldt for actions GOP officials deemed were out of sync with the party — in essence, not conservative enough. The GOP cut off Boldt from campaign support and backed Madore, the more conservative candidate.
In his statement, Boldt criticized the current Clark County council, saying it has focused not on the business of local government, but on “matters that divide the community.” Issues like the failed Columbia River Crossing, Madore’s proposed east county bridge and last month’s decision to post “In God We Trust” in the council chambers have distracted the council in recent years, he said.
“I believe the current council has forgotten the job of county government is not to control but rather to serve in a regional approach,” he said.
Current Councilor Tom Mielke has also announced his candidacy for the position, and rumors are circulating on social media that Madore may also make a run for the seat.
Clark County GOP Chairman Kenny Smith said the party’s leadership has voted not to take a position during primary elections if multiple Republicans are running.
No Democrats have announced plans to run.