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Monday, March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024

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Community activist Lentz to seek county council seat

Democrat running for District 1 position now held by Jeanne Stewart

By , Columbian political reporter

A second Democrat has announced that she will pursue the Clark County Council seat currently held by Republican Jeanne Stewart.

Temple Lentz, a former Clark County freeholder, has announced that she’s running for the District 1 council seat, which represents a large portion of Vancouver. Former Democratic state Rep. Jim Moeller is also running for the seat. Stewart has not indicated if she will run. Candidates will need to file for office next week.

Lentz , 42, currently works as business director for the Heather DeFord Group at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty. Previously, she served as executive director of the Parks Foundation of Clark County.

“What I really want to focus on is building a more collaborative Clark County government,” she said.

Lentz said that the county had previously isolated itself from other government entities. She said the county’s future depends on it building stronger ties to its cities, as well as its state and federal legislators. She said that the county has made some progress and that whomever is elected to District 1 needs to be dedicated to building a relationship with the city of Vancouver.

A press release announcing her candidacy states that Lentz’s policy priorities will be the local economy, homelessness and affordable housing, “developing responsible land use and development policies,” as well as “planning a community that works for people of all ages, incomes, and abilities.”

As a Clark County freeholder, Lentz helped write the Home Rule Charter passed by voters in 2014 that established a council-manager form of government. She said she’s concerned the council has not fully embraced the charter.

“Right now, it’s in its infancy,” she said. “It’s critical to make sure it works.”

When asked about running against Moeller, Lentz said she spoke with him a year ago about running for the position. Earlier this week he announced he had Parkinson’s disease.

“I’m going to campaign as the best candidate for the position because I truly believe that I am,” she said.

If elected, Lentz could be the only Democrat on the council. She said that she has good, working relationships with members of the council and that having a minority voice is important for good decision-making.

“Partisan issues don’t get roads paved and don’t get people housed,” she said.

The press release lists Lentz’s community involvement. She hosts local live talk show “Hello Vancouver!” She’s served on advisory committees for both Vancouver and Clark County’s parks systems, the city of Vancouver Charter Review Committee, as well as the boards of Leadership Clark County, Arts of Clark County, Rose Village Neighborhood Association and KXRW-FM.

She currently serves on the Clark County Commission on Aging, as well as the boards of the Hough Foundation and Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

Columbian political reporter