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News / Clark County News

Paulsen says he’ll run to keep his Vancouver city council seat

He was appointed after Topper left position

By Calley Hair, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 11, 2019, 8:00pm

Vancouver City Councilor Erik Paulsen will seek to retain his seat in 2019, he announced Monday.

Paulsen was appointed to his Position 2 seat by the city council, so by law he has to stand for election for the final two years of the term. He succeeded Alishia Topper, who was elected as Clark County’s treasurer.

“I’m thrilled to have been unanimously chosen by the mayor and council in January to represent our community as a member of the Vancouver City Council,” Paulsen said in a press release. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve our city.”

Monday’s announcement kicks off Paulsen’s first campaign, though not his first bid to join the council. In February 2018, Paulsen was one of 56 applicants who sought to fill a vacant seat. He was a finalist for that position, which ended up going to Councilor Laurie Lebowsky.

At the time, he called it a learning process. His second bid for council was more successful, beating out 17 applicants and five other finalists for Topper’s former seat. He was sworn in on Jan. 28, making him the city council’s newest member. Council members receive a salary of $24,060 per year. Council seats are nonpartisan.

“With my business and government experience I believe I can bring a new perspective that will value all voices in the process,” Paulsen said in the press release.

Paulsen, 50, was raised in Vancouver and is a graduate of Vancouver Public Schools. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and a master’s of business administration from Washington State University, and is currently a senior vice president and field administration strategy manager for US Bank Wealth Management.

He previously served on the Vancouver Planning Commission for eight years, including six years as its chair.

Candidates who wish to seek election to any of the four city council seats up for election this year must file declarations with the county auditor between May 13-17. Two other finalists for Topper’s former seat, David Regan and Diana Perez, already have filed their declarations of candidacy for the 2019 election with the Public Disclosure Commission, which allows them to raise money. They’re joined by another former council candidate, Sarah Fox, as well as current councilors Ty Stober and Bart Hansen.

The primary election is Aug. 6, and the top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 5.

Calley Hair: 360-735-4558; calley.hair@columbian.com. Twitter: twitter.com/calleynhair

Columbian staff writer