Three of the Clark County Council’s five nonpartisan seats were on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Based on early election results, the District 1, District 2 and District 5 seat will each be filled by a political newcomer.
As of Tuesday, just under 119,000 ballots had been counted, or 36.37 percent of the 327,049 ballots mailed to voters. County Auditor Greg Kimsey said the elections office had 80,000 ballots still to be counted along with about 15,000 more ballots still coming in from the mail.
In the District 1 race, Glen Yung has a strong lead over challenger Hector Hinojosa. Early voting totals show Yung with 9,839 votes, or 59.32 percent of votes cast, to Hinojosa’s 6,748 votes, or 40.68 percent.
Yung, of Vancouver, campaigned on the need for a more holistic approach to county government incorporating homelessness, housing, public safety and preserving the county’s natural resources.
Yung attributed his early lead to the efforts of his campaign staff.
“We worked really hard to get here,” Yung said in a Tuesday evening phone call.
Yung said he has the utmost respect for Hinojosa and was thankful they could run “a clean and fair race.”
With many more ballots still to counted in the coming days, Hinojosa wasn’t yet ready to cede the race.
“It’s hard to come back from this much of a deficit but we’ll see what happens,” Hinojosa said in an interview Tuesday with CVTV.org.
Former Vancouver school board candidates Michelle Belkot and Chartisha Roberts once again faced off this year, this time for the District 2 seat currently held by outgoing Councilor Julie Olson.
Tuesday’s results show Belkot leading Roberts with 11,381 votes, or 53.58 percent of votes cast. Roberts received 9,860 votes or 46.42 percent.
Belkot said she wasn’t surprised to take the early lead. She said she was feeling fairly confident based on the feedback she received while out canvassing, as well the results from the August primary. Like others she credits her success to the work of her campaign team.
“I had fantastic donors and I had about 45 volunteers out canvassing … I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.
Belkot has said if she’s elected, she will focus on public safety needs, especially raising pay rates for Clark County Sheriff’s deputies to make them more competitive with other jurisdictions.
Roberts could not be reached for comment.
Ridgefield farmer Sue Marshall held on to her August primary lead over opponent Don Benton. Marshall received 14,900 votes or 56.85 percent of ballots cast in early election totals. Benton received 11,311 votes or 43.15 percent.
Marshall said she was excited by the results but was trying to keep in mind these are only the first-day totals.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Marshall thanked her supporters and said her success is due, in part, to rural voters who have long felt ignored and are now speaking up with their votes.
“More than Democrat or Republican, people care about where they live. They care about protecting the rural areas. They care about roads and making sure growth is managed,” she said.
Marshall said she was sure her lead would shrink somewhat in the coming days as late arriving ballots, which will likely favor Benton, are counted. However, she was hopeful she could hold on to her lead.
Benton could not be reached for comment.