Justin Forsman is an earnest political candidate who cares about his community. Whether this is enough to make him a worthy city council candidate, I don’t know — but the Clark County Republican Party apparently believes it does.
The local GOP has endorsed Forsman in his race for Vancouver City Council against incumbent Alishia Topper, a fact that he mentioned during a recent meeting with The Columbian’s Editorial Board. This struck me as odd, considering that Forsman also has some negative attributes that likely will hurt his candidacy.
For one thing, he has a felony criminal record stemming from 2008, when he was 20. “It took me going to prison for 2 1/2 years and giving my life away to sit and think and find out who I was as a person,” he told The Columbian in 2015. “I wasn’t happy with what I’d become, and my family wasn’t proud. In order to change, I had to change everything, because I didn’t want to be remembered as a criminal if I died.”
This isn’t meant to belabor points brought up during previous campaigns; Forsman apparently has worked to improve his life, and he deserves credit for that. But, as with any candidate, Forsman’s past deserves consideration as voters decide for themselves how much weight it carries.
The same can be said for a campaign platform that suggests Vancouver should have its own currency. An unedited quote from his website: “Our City can issue it’s own currency, but unlike other cities who back their’s by worthless federal reserve notes, We should back ours by silver, making our currency more valuable than nearly any one else’s. This currency would be spent within the city of Vancouver and possibly Clark County and would most definitely boost our economy.”