Will local Republicans hold their local seats or will a Blue Wave wash over the traditionally-conservative regions of Clark County? We won’t know the answer until November, but the process begins now. Filing week begins at 9 a.m. Monday.
Already some candidates have been campaigning for months, primarily for open seats. But the formal filing process, which lasts only a week, often yields surprise candidacies and unannounced retirements. Candidate declarations can be made until 5 p.m. Friday.
Here’s a look at which positions will be on the ballot and who has already announced their intent to run.
3rd Congressional District
Incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, has already drawn a slew of challengers. Armed with a $1 million war chest, she seeks a fifth term.
Earl Bowerman joined the race just last month as the only Republican challenger. One of his biggest criticisms of Herrera Beutler is that she says she didn’t vote for President Donald Trump, whom he supports.
Carolyn Long was the last of a pack of Democrats to announce but has already amassed more than $275,000 in contributions. Long has a background in policy and public affairs which includes teaching at Washington State University Vancouver for the last 22 years.
Dorothy Gasque is also running as a Democrat with a focus on anti-corruption, Medicare for all and, as an Iraq War veteran, veterans’ services. Gasque previously served as a delegate for the 2016 National Democratic Convention.
Rounding out the candidate pool is David McDevitt. This is not McDevitt’s first time taking on Herrera Beutler. The Democrat ran for the 2016 seat losing out in the top-two primary to Jim Moeller. McDevitt has said his focus is on increasing wages and improving health care access.
17th Legislative District
First-term incumbent Vicki Kraft, a Republican, is seeking re-election. She’s not alone in the race. James Tolson, a Democrat, announced last September that he planned to run with a focus on anti-poverty activism. Tanisha Harris, also a Democrat, joined the race in February. Harris is a familiar face to the local political scene and previously ran for the Clark County Council in 2016.
Republican Paul Harris has held this seat since 2012 and is once again running for re-election. At this point, there’s only one challenger. Democrat Damion Jiles announced his bid for the position in March. Jiles intends to put more focus on transportation infrastructure.
18th Legislative District
Republican Brandon Vick, who first took the seat in 2012, is running unopposed at the moment.
Republican Rep. Liz Pike is not seeking re-election. Pike announced she was running for Clark County Council chair, but then said instead she would retire from politics. Two candidates have announced a run in her stead. In the lead in terms of fundraising is Democrat Kathy Gillespie. Gillespie is a two-term school board director with Vancouver Public Schools. She’s running against Republican Larry Hoff, the former president and CEO of Fibre Federal Credit Union in Cowlitz County.
49th Legislative District
Both Democratic Representatives Sharon Wylie and Monica Stonier are seeking re-election this year, and so far, both are running unopposed.
Clark County Council Chair
Current Chair Marc Boldt is running for re-election as an independent. He’s joined in the race by Councilor Eileen Quiring, a Republican who currently holds the District 4 seat, which is not up for election. The race recently got its first Democrat in Eric Holdt, who announced last week.
Incumbent Republican Jeanne Stewart hasn’t yet announced a bid for re-election, but she’s already drawn two Democratic challengers. Jim Moeller, former Vancouver city councilor and state representative, who most recently ran for the 3rd Congressional District, was the only candidate until last week. Moeller also recently announced that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but intends to continue his campaign. Fellow Democrat Temple Lentz announced she will also seek the council position. Lentz is a former Clark County freeholder and currently works as business director for the Heather DeFord Group at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty.
Republican Clark County Councilor Julie Olson is seeking a second term. Olson said she wants to focus on economic development and infrastructure for the county.
Vancouver City Council
This position was up for election last November but since the winning candidate Scott Campbell died before the election, the council had to make an appointment. They selected Laurie Lebowsky from a pool of 56 applicants in February. But since Lebowsky was selected via appointment, she needs to run for re-election to serve the remainder of the four-year term. Lebowsky works as a community planner for Clark County.
Running against her is Mary Elkin, one of the finalists for the position during the appointment process. She’s perhaps best known for her work with the fire department and founded the Friends of Fire Station 6. She also serves on the Clark County Schools Advisory Council and chairs the Vancouver Neighborhood Alliance and the Image Neighborhood Association.
A third candidate also threw his name into the mix. Adam Shetler announced his intent to run in March stating he wants to focus on road safety, homeless and mental health, school safety, a new interstate bridge without light rail and boosting jobs in Vancouver.
It’s not just council and legislative positions on the ballot. Many county government seats are elected every four years. As is often the case, the incumbents so far are unopposed.
Prosecutor Tony Golik is running for his third term as a Democrat, as is Treasurer Doug Lasher, who has held office since 1984.
Auditor Greg Kimsey, a Republican, took office in 1999 and seeks the position once again. Republican Scott Weber is also running again for the county clerk position (the clerk runs the Superior Court office) as is Auditor Peter Van Nortwick. Republican Sheriff Chuck Atkins is expected to seek a second four-year term.
Judicial offices are also up for election this year. No one has announced plans to challenge the incumbents in the nonpartisan races.