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Thursday, September 21, 2023
Sept. 21, 2023

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Bowerman pulls ahead of James in Clark County Council race

Republican has 723-vote lead in latest election results in District 3

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

Karen Bowerman has pulled ahead in the Clark County Council District 3 race.

Bowerman, a Republican, holds 50.68 percent of the vote, according to updated results released Thursday night by the Clark County Elections Office. She has a 723-vote lead over Democrat Jesse James.

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said Thursday night that the elections office had about 4,500 ballots left to count in the race.

Bowerman had been closing the gap in the past couple of days as more ballots were counted since polls closed Tuesday.

In the first release of results Tuesday night, James led with 51.25 percent of the vote over Bowerman. In the second batch of results Wednesday, James’ lead had shrunk to 50.22 percent.

In the Aug. 4 primary, Bowerman led with 44.3 percent of the vote, while James finished second with 33.89 percent. Incumbent Councilor John Blom finished with 21.57 percent and was eliminated from the race.

Around the time polls closed Tuesday, Bowerman had outspent James $33,687.76 to $21,034.84, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.

The conservative Bowerman and liberal James are vying to replace the moderate Blom, who served his term as a Republican but ran this year without a party affiliation. With incumbent Councilor Gary Medvigy winning his race in District 4, the District 3 race will determine whether the Republican majority on the five-member council will remain 4-1 or shrink to 3-2.

However, Councilor Julie Olson, a Republican, and Blom have often sided with Councilor Temple Lentz, a Democrat, over fellow Republicans, most notably on the annual vote on the county budget. A win for James would likely keep this voting bloc intact, while a Bowerman victory would tilt the council in a more conservative direction.

District 3 covers east Vancouver. In the district’s previous county council election, in 2016 when Blom ran as a Republican, he narrowly defeated Democrat Tanisha Harris with 51.17 percent of the vote.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter