Former Clark County councilor and Washington state representative Tom Mielke will be seeking to unseat State Sen. Ann Rivers after he announced a write-in campaign late last month.
Mielke, a Republican who most recently served on the Clark County Council until 2017, said in a press release that he was dismayed with Rivers, also a Republican, due to issues on transportation taxes and property tax increases intended to fulfil the McCleary school funding state supreme court decision. He specifically mentioned issues with replacement of the Interstate 5 bridge, referencing the failed Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project he said Rivers was “leading the charge” in restarting.
“Her flip-flop on restarting the CRC that we worked so hard to stop can’t be explained. None of the reasons that made stopping the CRC so important then have changed,” Mielke said in the release. “We do not want nor do we need light rail in Clark County and that is the (only) reason this project was started. It was a bad idea the first time they tried it and it’s now become a terrible idea that will solve none of our cross-river transportation issues. It will do nothing to improve congestion or safety, but it will cause financial hardship on many of the 70,000 plus commuters who will likely have to pay a toll twice, both in Vancouver and then again when Oregon implements their tolling program.”
Mielke said the project would drain hundreds of millions from Clark County residents, “with essentially nothing to show for it that matters, except to the special interests my opponent now represents who will make a fortune.”
Mielke also took issue with Rivers’ co-sponsoring of Democratic Party legislation he said “determines either the genders of those on corporate boards, or those who identify as genders on corporate boards.
“I am a Republican and a Conservative,” Tom wrote in the release. “I know what the people of the 18th District want and unlike my opponent; I will both tell the truth and represent the people and not the special interests that are calling the shots with my opponent.”