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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Feb. 21, 2024

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Horch, Reynolds lead in Clark County Sheriff race

By , Columbian staff reporter

Clark County sheriff candidates John Horch and Rey Reynolds appear to be headed to November’s general election after preliminary results show them winning the top two positions in Tuesday’s primary.

Horch, the chief criminal deputy at the sheriff’s office, led the vote with 45.59 percent. Reynolds, a corporal with the Vancouver Police Department, was polling second with 38.09 percent of the vote. David Shook, a deputy at the sheriff’s office, received 16.33 percent of the vote and will not advance to the general election.

The winner of the general election will replace Sheriff Chuck Atkins, who is not seeking reelection.

Horch, 54, on Tuesday night thanked his campaign team and all of his supporters who voted for him and helped spread his message.

“It feels real good,” he said. “I worked hard, got out and met people, and I had a  great team.”

Reynolds, 63, called the results stunning and said he was excited about the number of people who backed him. He said supporters proved that people are seeing a need for change in the sheriff’s office.

“I want my Clark County back, and I’m tired of sitting back saying, ‘What can I do?’ ” Reynolds said.

Reynolds had a vocal crowd to celebrate Tuesday night, and he said he’s looking forward to bringing on more people to help him earn the sheriff’s seat in November.

Horch said his campaign staff wasn’t surprised by the results, but he was cautious in his expectations.

Although Horch said he’d take Tuesday night to celebrate with his team, family and friends, he knows the race isn’t over and he has plenty of work to do before the general election. Horch also thanked his wife for all of her help and support during the campaign so far.

Both Reynolds and Horch gave Shook kudos for a well-run campaign and called their running mates good men.

Horch has a 33-year career at the sheriff’s office, during which he’s worked just about every assignment within the enforcement branch, he said. Atkins appointed him to the administrative position in 2019. Horch says he knows the ins-and-outs of the issues facing the department and what it will or won’t take to solve them.

Reynolds has a 38-year career in law enforcement, but he says he hopes to bring a fresh set of eyes to the agency. His decades at the Vancouver Police Department have given him perspective on the neighboring sheriff’s office and its flaws that have grown under current leadership, he said.

The choice for sheriff will be tasked with combating low staffing, fixing an outdated jail and implementing a body camera program, among other issues facing the agency.