Sam Kim, Clark County’s chief information officer, is changing parties to run as an independent Democrat for a 17th Legislative District seat. He filed Wednesday to run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, who is running for the state Senate.
Kim, who described himself as a lifelong Republican, cited his party’s “ideological rigidity” and the GOP’s support of Donald Trump as part of the reasons behind his switch.
“My family came to this country from Korea to seek freedom and open doors of opportunity, and I joined our military to protect those freedoms,” Kim said in a statement. “I can no longer identify with a party that wants to close doors of trade and economic growth, that wants to restrict individual freedoms in access to health care, and at the same time, cannot embrace the need to help every child succeed by fully funding our schools.”
Kim is an opponent of the proposed oil-by-rail terminal slated for Vancouver and is supportive of efforts to revive conversations to rebuild the Interstate 5 Bridge.
Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, filed for re-election on Wednesday, and if she wins it could be her first term serving in the state’s upper chamber without her rival, Sen. Don Benton.
• 3rd Congressional District: L.A. (“Worthy”) Worthington, no party preference.
• 17th Legislative District: State representative, Position 1: Sam Kim, independent Democrat.
• 18th Legislative District: Senate: Ann Rivers, Republican. State representative, Position 2: Shane Bowman, Republican.
Benton, a Republican who served 22 years in the state Legislature, announced earlier this year he wasn’t seeking re-election. Benton recently lost his job as the director of Clark County Environmental Services, however, and he has a couple of days left to change his mind.
Candidates can file for federal, state and local offices with the Clark County Elections Office all week. Candidates must be registered to vote in the jurisdiction for which they are filing, and pay a filing fee of 1 percent of that office’s total yearly compensation.
Candidates can file in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday at the Clark County Elections Office, 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver. Candidates also can file at www.clark.wa.gov/elections until 4 p.m. Friday. Candidates must have a valid email address to file online.
A complete list of open elective offices, their filing fees and a copy of the 2016 Candidate Guide are available at the elections office or at www.clark.wa.gov/elections/candidates.