Thursday, March 23, 2023
March 23, 2023

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Quiring running for Clark County council chair

By , Columbian political reporter

Clark County Councilor Eileen Quiring has announced she will challenge county council Chair Marc Boldt for his position in elections that’ll be held later this year.

Quiring, a Republican, was elected to her four-year term on the council in 2016. She served in the Oregon Legislature in the 1990s. More recently she worked as a real estate agent and served on the Clark County Planning Commission.

A press release announcing her candidacy emphasizes her respect for property rights and her opposition to higher taxes and bureaucracy. It also highlights her Clark County roots, noting she was raised here and graduated from Battle Ground High School.

In an interview, Quiring said supporters encouraged her to run for the position after state Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, dropped out of the race.

“It was quite a time-consuming and arduous process for me,” said Quiring of her decision to run. “I really spent some time thinking about it and praying about it. So many doors were opening and I had so many offers of help that I decided to do it.”

When running for her current seat, Quiring stressed that she wanted to get along with other councilors and leave behind the acrimony that marked the previous council. Quiring said she has a good relationship with everyone on the council that she wants to maintain, even while trying to unseat Boldt. Each member of the council is a Republican, except for Boldt, who became nonpartisan after being censured by the party.

“I like Marc personally, we just have some policy differences,” she said. “Really, he’s been in campaigns and I’ve been in campaigns and I think we just need to keep it positive and on point and not personal and I think we should do fine.”

During her time on the council, Quiring has, at times, cast the sole dissenting vote against raising taxes and fees. Quiring represents the most rural district on the council. She’s also cast dissenting votes on land-use issues, citing her respect for property rights and concern for rural communities.

Quiring said that one of her priorities is creating an economic engine for Clark County so that residents can work where they live. Recently, she’s been involved with the implementation of change to state law that will allow freight-rail-dependent businesses to develop along Chelatchie Prairie Railroad.

The chair is the only member of the council that is elected countywide. Under the home rule charter, the chair acts as a spokesperson for the council and serves on various committees with other officials.

So far, neither Quiring nor Boldt have filed paperwork with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, which tracks political contributions and expenditures.

No Democrat has announced a run for the position. In August, the candidates will face off in the primary election with the top two vote-getters advancing to November’s general election.

Quiring will retain her current seat if she loses her bid for council chair.

“I am running to win,” she said. “I’ve never run for an office that I just put my name in for the heck of it.”

Columbian political reporter