Friday, September 24, 2021
Sept. 24, 2021

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Medvigy appears to keep county council seat

Republican has nearly 61% of vote in early returns

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

Republican Clark County Councilor Gary Medvigy appears to have retained his position for another year.

In Tuesday’s general election, Medvigy earned 60.99 percent of the vote after the initial count of 19,558 ballots. His Democratic challenger, Battle Ground City Councilmember Adrian Cortes, came away with 39.01 percent.

Medvigy was unanimously appointed by the council to the District 4 seat on Jan. 22 to replace Republican County Councilor Eileen Quiring, who became council chair. He will serve the remainder of Quiring’s original term and face election next year.

“I think it’s the strength of the campaign, and it’s a report card,” Medvigy said. “I’ve been a man of my word, and I think my constituents appreciate that.”

The result isn’t much of a surprise. Medvigy collected 58.16 percent of votes in the Aug. 6 primary. Under state law, partisan elections must appear on the primary ballot even if only two candidates are seeking the position. Medvigy outspent Cortes $20,816.01 to $3,638.23.

Election results

For more Clark County and Washington election results, visit

District 4 is predominantly rural, covering all of east Clark County and most of the central part of the county — including Battle Ground. Both candidates espoused fiscally conservative positions.

Medvigy has only lived in Clark County since 2016, which Cortes mentioned throughout the race. County councilors cited Medvigy’s resume, which includes stints as a California Superior Court judge, prosecutor and U.S. Army general, after his appointment.

“I’m a new person to them, so they were watching me assiduously, and I think I’ve impressed them,” Medvigy said of local Republicans. “I think that credentials matter as well as my voting record so far.”

Cortes differed with Medvigy on one of the council’s most consequential actions this year: its approval of a plan to open about 2,200 acres of land north of Vancouver near the 179th Street-Interstate 5 interchange for development. While Cortes opposed the public-private partnership, Medvigy voted in favor.

Medvigy and Cortes also offered varying views on Clark County Manager Shawn Henessee’s job performance. Medvigy has repeatedly praised Henessee’s efforts to find budget savings, and Cortes said he is responsible for underperforming county departments.

Cortes said it was “a pleasure” running against Medvigy, wished him luck and said he would be available to him for any “words of wisdom.”

“Win or lose, it was a great, great experience for me,” Cortes said. “As a person of color, being able to open windows and provide mirrors for others to run for higher office is definitely a win in my book.”

Columbian county government and small cities reporter