It’s over: Marc Boldt is the new Clark County council chair.
With 82,703 ballots counted Thursday, Boldt, no party preference, has 39.11 percent of the votes to Democrat Mike Dalesandro’s 36.35 percent. Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, is a distant third with 23.84 percent of the votes.
“I’m excited,” Boldt said. “I think it just proves that a positive campaign can win.”
Auditor Greg Kimsey said there are about 2,700 contested votes left to count, and several hundred more should trickle in during the coming days. Dalesandro would have to pick up 81 percent of those contested ballots to win.
Dalesandro posted his concession on Facebook Thursday, congratulating Boldt and wishing him and the rest of the county council well.
“It’s time to move past the bitter divisions, the political battles and focus on what makes this community so very special,” Dalesandro said. “And fight like hell to keep it that way.”
But the write-in campaign for Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, made significant gains Thursday, supporting the theory that conservative voters tend to vote late.
Pike’s loss was certain Tuesday when she took 11,997 votes, or 21.25 percent, but her support has trended upward all week. Of the 11,228 votes counted in the chair race Wednesday, Pike gained 2,866, or 25.52 percent, of the latest ballots tallied. But Boldt received the largest portion of the new votes on Wednesday, taking 4,333, or 38.59 percent. Dalesandro received 3,975 votes of the new votes, or 35.4 percent.
That pattern skewed in Pike’s favor Thursday. Of the 12,156 votes tallied in the chair race Thursday, 4,172 went to Pike, for a gain of 34.3 percent of the latest ballots. Dalesandro, meanwhile, received 3,805 votes, or 31.3 percent of the latest ballots. Boldt received 4,089 votes, or 33.64 percent.
That tick upward in conservative vote helped Julie Olson, the Republican running in District 2. Olson, with 53.71 percent of the votes counted so far, has defeated Democrat Chuck Green, who has 45.8 percent of the votes. Of the 3,440 votes counted in that race Thursday, Olson picked up 61.3 percent of them.
“I called Julie and offered my congratulations,” Green said.
But Green, who earlier this year organized a forum to discuss why Clark County’s voter turnout is so low, said he believed moderate voters did not vote in this year’s election.
Kimsey estimates turnout will be about 35 percent, abysmally low even for odd-year election standards. In 2013, voter turnout was 37.62 percent.
“We seriously as a community need to look back at how we woo back the independent voters,” Green said.
Vancouver City Council race candidate Ty Stober, running for the Position 5 open seat, has incrementally increased his narrow lead over opponent Linda Glover in the days since the election.
Tuesday, Stober led with 50.22 percent of the vote, compared with Glover’s 48.94 percent. Of the 17,500 ballots that had been counted, only 226 votes separated the two candidates.
Wednesday, the trend continued as Stober’s lead widened to 512 votes, inching him up to 50.82 percent, while Glover dropped to 48.27 percent.
Thursday, Stober gained another 266 votes, putting him 778 votes ahead of Glover at 51.18 percent. Glover fell to 47.96 percent.
Two smaller races yet to be decided came closer to a conclusion with Thursday’s count.
Susan Humbyrd increased her chances for a third term on the Woodland City Council; she now leads former Councilor John “JJ” Burke 281 votes to 261.
Dan Coursey increased his lead over Molly Coston for an open Washougal City Council seat. He now has a 129-vote lead over Coston.
Columbian staff writers Amy M.E. Fischer and Brooks Johnson contributed to this story.