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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
March 5, 2024

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Joe Kent, Don Benton among candidates kicking off filing week in Clark County

Candidates for office have until Friday to file to run for office in 2022

By , Columbian staff writer, and
, Columbian staff writer

Filing week for the August primary and November general elections began Monday, as candidates stepped forward to seek county and state offices.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, 115 candidates had filed for 110 offices, with the vast majority of those filings for positions as precinct committee officers.

Among filings for legislative races, Republican Kevin Waters of Stevenson is running for the 17th District Position 1 seat currently held by state Rep. Vicki Kraft. Kraft has said she plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, for her 3rd District position.

Frequent political candidate Justin Forsman of Vancouver is challenging fellow Republican state Rep. Paul Harris for the 17th District Position 2 seat. Harris has held the position since 2011.

Vancouver residents Stephanie McClintock, a Republican, and John Zingale, a Democrat, filed for the 18th District Position 1 seat currently held by state Rep. Brandon Vick, who announced in April he won’t seek a third term in office.

Democratic Vancouver resident Duncan Camacho filed for the 18th District Position 2 seat held by state Rep. Larry Hoff, who announced in March he won’t seek another term in office.

Kalama Republican state Rep. Ed Orcutt filed to seek another term as the 20th District Position 2 representative. Orcutt was appointed as the District 18 representative in 2002, a position he held until 2013. Due to redistricting, Orcutt was moved to the 20th District, a position he has held since.

Centralia Republican state Rep. Peter Abbarno is hoping for a second term in office as the District 18 Position 1 representative.

Vancouver Democrat state Rep. Sharon Wylie filed to seek another term as a District 49 representative. Wylie was appointed to the House in 2011, then successfully ran for the office in 2013.

Clark County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick, Auditor Greg Kimsey, Clerk Scott Weber, Treasurer Alishia Topper and Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik filed early on Monday. None of the positions have a challenger yet.

Former state legislator and county staffer Don Benton has filed for the Clark County Council District 5 seat. The District 5 race is likely to attract a lot of attention, especially for Benton who successfully sued the county in 2021 for being terminated from his position as director of environmental services.

Richard Rylander Jr. also filed for the District 5 county council position. Rylander was appointed to the position by Gov. Jay Inslee in late April. The seat had been left vacant after former Councilor Eileen Quiring O’Brien retired.

Hector Hinojosa, past president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, filed for Clark County Council District 1. Hinojosa, of Vancouver, previously ran for a position on the charter review commission and is a board member of Community Roots Collaborative, which he helped found.

Former Vancouver mayoral candidate Douglas Coop also filed for the Position 1 seat. As of 5 p.m. Monday, no candidates had filed for the Position 2 seat currently held by Councilor Julie Olson. Both Olson and District 1 Councilor Temple Lentz announced in late April they would not seek reelection.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Nancy Retsinas, who was appointed by Inslee in April 2021, has filed to run for election.

District Court Judge Chad Sleight filed for the Department 2 seat Monday afternoon. Sleight began serving as a pro tem judge in 2013 before being appointed in 2017.

Former prosecutor James Smith, who was appointed to the District Court in August, is running for election for the Department 3 position. Judge Sonya Langsdorf is seeking reelection as the District Court Department 4 seat. Langsdorf was appointed to the court as a commissioner in 2008 before being elected as a judge in 2010.

Judge Kelli Osler will run for the District Court Department 5 position. Osler was appointed in 2010 and was the first woman to serve as a District Court judge in Clark County.

District Court Department 6 Judge Abigail Bartlett is also seeking election. Bartlett began serving as a court commissioner in July 2017. She was appointed to serve as a judge last summer. Previously, she worked for the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for 11 years.

Well-known environmental activist and Vancouver resident Don Steinke filed for the Clark Public Utilities Commissioner for District 2. Incumbent Nancy Barnes, also of Vancouver, filed for the District 2 commissioner seat, as well.

3rd District challengers

A portion of Washington’s 3rd Congressional District candidate pool have filed for the primary election, and more are expected to step forward before the filing deadline Friday.

Herrera Beutler filed for reelection around noon Monday — an attempt to continue her career in Congress, which she has preserved since 2011. Herrera Beutler, who is currently assigned to the Joint Economic Committee and House Appropriations Committee, continues to campaign on resolving the region’s economic hardship.

However, she wasn’t the first to file for the position. Joe Kent, R-Yacolt, was the first candidate to file in the race to unseat the incumbent early Monday morning. The former Green Beret centralized his campaign to counter “the establishment,” or Democrats and Republicans whom he describes as subversive players in plotting against the public through policy.

Brent Hennrich, D-Vancouver, filed a minute after Kent. The Democrat is fervent in his belief that the historically red district can be flipped to blue. His objective is rooted in healing the region, which he illustrates with an adhesive strip in his campaign logo.

Hennrich believes renovating the state’s energy sector is a vital source of restoring its economy and addressing the climate crisis. Concurrently, the candidate wants there to be a greater emphasis on investing in trade and technical job education, which can aid in progressing the region’s renewable energy sector.

Christian author and podcaster Heidi St. John, R-Battle Ground, submitted her declaration around noon Monday. She has said she is opposed to government overreach, particularly as it relates to public school curriculum teaching topics surrounding gender, sexual orientation and racism in the U.S. The candidate previously wrote that she would support defunding Planned Parenthood and policies restricting reproductive health care.

Lesser-known candidate Davy Ray, D-Stevenson, joined other challengers to represent the region. His campaign focuses on boosting affordable housing stock, protecting natural resources and advocating for universal health care, according to his campaign website.

Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, also filed for the 3rd District seat Monday. She has represented the 17th Legislative District since 2017, serving on the House Capital Budget, College and Workforce Development, and Community and Economic Development committees.