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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Incumbents, EMS levy faring well in initial Clark County election returns

Notable exceptions seen in Woodland mayoral race, Evergreen school race

By Mark Bowder, Columbian Metro Editor
Published: November 7, 2023, 9:00pm

Incumbents generally fared well in Tuesday’s general election, with all but five leading their challengers in early election returns from Clark County Elections. An EMS levy in Washougal was passing handily, receiving 80.02 percent of the vote.

The incumbents leading as of Tuesday night include incumbent Port of Vancouver Commissioner Don Orange, who was leading Russell E. Brent, 68.91 percent to 31.09 percent for the commission’s District 1 seat, and Vancouver City Councilor Sarah J. Fox, who is leading Leah Perkel 80.65 percent to 19.35 percent for the council’s Position 6 seat.

Incumbents falling short include Woodland Mayor Will Finn, who is trailing challenger Todd Dinehart, 32.35 percent to 67.65 percent; Evergreen Public Schools Director Victoria Bradford, who is trailing challenger Gary Wilson, 47.19 percent to 52.81 percent, and Battle Ground Councilmember Daniel Dingman, who was trailing Victoria Ferrer 41 percent to 59 percent.

Turnout is traditionally lower in off-year elections, when neither a presidential nor midterm election occurs, and Tuesday’s election appears to be no exception. As of Tuesday night, ballots from 16.24 percent of the county’s 332,500 eligible voters had been tallied, with an estimated 20,000 ballots left to count.

Clark County Elections Director Cathie Garber had predicted turnout for this election will ultimately be around 36 percent, close to the average for off-year elections in Clark County.

All told, a total of 115 candidates were vying for 85 city council, school board, port commissioner, fire district, cemetery district, wastewater district and public utilities commissioner seats.

Nearly half of all candidates were running unopposed.

Here are the results for contested races, except for fire and cemetery districts. More details can be found on Page A2 in the print and e-edition of The Columbian and online.

City council races

In Battle Ground, incumbent Shane Bowman was leading challenger Josh VanGelder 61.25 percent to 38.75 percent for the Position 2 seat on the Battle Ground City Council. Incumbent Daniel Dingman was losing to Victoria Ferrer for the Position 3 seat, 41 percent to 59 percent. In the Position 7 race, in which no incumbent ran, Eric Joe Overholser was leading Josie Calderon 55.03 percent to 44.97 percent.

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In Camas, Mayor Steven C. Hogan was leading Randal Friedman 75.01 percent to 24.99 percent while incumbent John Nohr was leading Gary Perman 54.05 percent to 45.95 percent for the Ward 1, Position 1 seat on the Camas City Council. Incumbent Bonnie Carter was leading Ry Luikens 62.56 percent to 37.44 percent for Ward 2 Position 1. For the at-large council position, in which no incumbent was running, John Svilarich was leading Stephen R. Dabasinskas 57.96 percent to 42.04 percent.

In La Center, incumbent Myrna Leija was leading Crystal Harvey 68.57 percent to 31.43 percent for Position 4 on the La Center City Council, and incumbent Elizabeth M. Cerveny was leading Linda Tracy 63.62 percent to 36.38 percent for Position 5.

In Ridgefield, incumbent Lee E. Wells was leading Mark D. Tyler for Position 3 on the Ridgefield City Council 50.35 percent to 49.65 percent.

In Washougal, Mayor and Position 1 Councilmember David Stuebe was defeating Gabriel Stone 88.98 percent to 11.02 percent.

In Woodland, which includes voters in both Clark and Cowlitz counties, incumbent Melissa Doughty was leading Keith Bellisle 51.06 percent to 48.63 percent for Position 3 on the Woodland City Council, incumbent Aaron Alderman was trailing Douglas Freimarck Sr. 46.22 percent to 53.46 percent for Position 4 and incumbent DeeAnna Holland was leading Gabe Huston for Position 5 50.69 percent to 49.31 percent.

School board races

In Evergreen Public Schools, incumbent Rob Perkins was leading Chuck Keplar 55.77 percent to 44.23 percent for the District 2 seat on the board of directors, while incumbent Victoria Bradford was trailing Gary Wilson 47.19 percent to 52.81 percent for the District 3 seat.

In Vancouver Public Schools, incumbent Kathy Decker was leading Nick Wells 68.98 percent to 31.02 percent for the Position 4 seat on the district’s board of directors while incumbent Tracie Barrows was leading Larry Roe 70.98 percent to 29.02 percent for the Position 5 seat.

In Battle Ground Public Schools, incumbent Andrew D. Lawhon was trailing Debbie Johnson 47.67 percent to 52.33 percent to for the District 2 seat on the board of directors.

In the La Center School District, incumbent Amanda Miller was leading Shannon Cluphf 77.53 percent to 22.47 percent for the District 2 position.

In the Ridgefield School District, Amber Baker was leading Rob Peterson 68.43 percent to 31.57 percent for the open District 2 position.

In the Woodland School District, incumbent Sarah Stuart was leading Katie Nichols 63.82 percent to 35.89 percent for the District 1 position.

The next batch of results are set to be released at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Columbian Metro Editor