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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Fox, Stewart lead in Vancouver City Council race

Both likely headed to general election; Paulsen leads in Position 2 contest

By Calley Hair, Columbian staff writer
Published: August 6, 2019, 10:00pm
5 Photos
Jeanne Stewart and Sarah Fox are leading Tuesday in the Vancouver City Council race for position 6.
Jeanne Stewart and Sarah Fox are leading Tuesday in the Vancouver City Council race for position 6. (The Columbian file photos) Photo Gallery

Jeanne Stewart and Sarah Fox have likely prevailed in the seven-way race for Vancouver City Council Position 6, pulling ahead of the pack to advance to the November general election.

The preliminary results as of 8:15 p.m. Tuesday showed Fox with 22.87 percent of the vote and Stewart with 22.86 percent. Fox was leading Stewart by two votes.

Voter turnout was 20.3 percent, according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office, with 47,456 ballots returned. However, an estimated 11,000 ballots have yet to be counted and have the potential to change the election’s outcome.

In the three-way race for Position 2, incumbent Erik Paulsen comfortably led with 64.73 percent of ballots cast in his favor, while challenger Maureen McGoldrick beat out Justin Forsman for a spot in the general election with 20.87 percent to Forsman’s 14.40 percent.

10 Photos
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey reads the first primary election results while taking the printouts to the Clark County Public Service Center to distribute to the candidates on Aug. 6, 2019.
Primary Election Night in Clark County Photo Gallery

Whittling down Position 6

The results conclude a crowded primary election season for the Vancouver City Council. That was especially true of Position 6, currently held by Bill Turlay, who did not seek re-election.

Stewart has occupied various citywide and countywide positions on and off for over two decades, and previously served 12 years on the Vancouver City Council before serving a term as a Republican on the Clark County Council.

Reached for comment Tuesday night, Stewart said she respects Fox as a candidate and is looking forward to a “fruitful” general election.

“I’m surprised by the numbers, I thought I might be near the lead, but it looks like I’m very close,” Stewart said.

Fox’s resume includes six years in the U.S. Army, a stint at an affordable housing nonprofit and 14 years as a city planner in Camas.

Fox said Tuesday evening that she watched the results come in live during a watch party at a brewery.

“We got pretty excited when the results came in,” Fox said. “I would say that I think it really speaks a lot to what our citizens are looking for. They’re looking for someone who has a broad base of experience, someone with a veteran’s background and small-business experience.”

Diana Perez earned 19.51 percent of the vote, and could potentially stay in the running if the remaining ballots skew in her favor. She’s 635 votes behind Stewart.

Adam Aguilera (13.95 percent), Mike Pond (9.26 percent), Paul Montague (8.77 percent) and Dorel Singeorzan (2.79 percent) are at the end of the road.

One down for Position 2

Paulsen, the city’s newest councilor, was appointed to the Position 2 seat in January. He’d previously served as chair of the Vancouver Planning Commission.

“I’m still kind of processing, to be honest with you. It was humbling for me in much the same way the appointment process was humbling to me. This is a community that I grew up in and care a lot about,” Paulsen said Tuesday evening.

He’ll face off in November against McGoldrick, an enigmatic candidate who has twice pulled through a primary election. In 2017, she advanced to the general and surprised city leaders after raising no money, posting no signs and conducting little traditional campaigning — a feat she repeated Tuesday.

McGoldrick did not return a request for comment.

The primary results likely mark the end of Forsman’s third unsuccessful bid for city council. He is 1,201 votes behind McGoldrick, a gap he could potentially close in the remaining 11,000 ballots.

More to come in November

In addition to the Fox vs. Stewart and Paulsen vs. McGoldrick races, the general election will also include a showdown between Vancouver City Councilor Ty Stober and bail bondsman David Regan, who’s challenging Stober for his Position 5 seat. As a two-way race, both men were guaranteed a spot on the Nov. 3 ballot and weren’t included in the August primaries.

Also up for re-election is Vancouver City Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem Bart Hansen, who’s running unopposed to retain his Position 4 seat.

Columbian staff writer