Jeanne Stewart, a mainstay in county and city politics for the last two decades, is running for Vancouver City Council Position 6.
Stewart most recently served as a Republican member of the Clark County Council. Before that, she spent 12 years on the city council.
In a media release, Stewart highlighted her lengthy experience in local politics.
“Since early January, many fellow citizens have asked me to consider running for the Vancouver City Council,” Stewart wrote. “I have met with many residents and small business owners across the city who say they would like to see a more experienced and well-versed perspective on the Vancouver City Council. As major issues have developed during February and March, this interest has increased.”
Stewart’s on-again, off-again relationship with local politics started in 1999, when the then-planning commissioner launched a failed bid against Jim Moeller for a seat on the city council. In 2001, she won her city council election, and she successfully defended the seat through three re-election campaigns until she was defeated by Alishia Topper in 2013.
A year later, she won a Republican bid for the three-member county commission — since changed to a five-member county council — where she served a single term before losing re-election against Democrat Temple Lentz last November.
Asked about her plans after the election, Stewart left it open-ended: “I haven’t ruled anything in or out,” she told The Columbian in December.
The race for the city’s Position 6 is crowded. The seat’s current occupant, Bill Turlay, reversed his earlier plans and announced on March 12 that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election. Since then, five people have tossed their hat in the ring.
Other than Stewart, it’s a roster of young, fairly progressive candidates: Camas urban planner Sarah Fox, teacher and union leader Adam Aguilera, U.S. Forest Service employee Diana Perez and marketing specialist Mike Pond.
Stewart’s views skew to the right of the existing pool of candidates and more closely resemble Turlay’s — though city council seats are technically nonpartisan, Turlay has been a loudly conservative voice.
During her term on the county council, Stewart was known to butt heads with fellow Republican Councilors David Madore and Tom Mielke. She often aligned herself with fellow Republican Councilor Julie Olson and council Chair Marc Boldt, a nonpartisan.
On the city council, too, Stewart was something of a contrarian. During her first term, she cast the only “no” vote against building the Hilton Vancouver Washington. During her third term, she was removed from the C-Tran board after she went against the council’s position of expanding bus service while also providing money for light rail.
In the media release, Stewart said she looked forward to hearing from her constituents.
“I am excited about the new and upcoming opportunities taking place in our great city we call home. I appreciate all of the support and encouragement I have received and believe we will do great things together,” Stewart wrote.
As of midday Thursday, she’d yet to file with the Public Disclosure Commission, which would allow her campaign to start raising and spending money.
She’ll also have to register with the Clark County auditor in May in order to appear on the Aug. 6 primary ballot, where the top two finalists for Position 6 will advance to the general election on Nov. 5.