Clark County elections and auto licensing building

Filing week for the 2019 local elections has come and passed with North County cities seeing several competitive races while school board incumbents are likely to get a pass.

The deadline to file for candidacy for races in local city councils, school boards, and fire protection district commissioners was 5 p.m. May 17. 

Clark County Council

The candidates in the most high-profile race had already announced prior to filing week. 

Current Clark County Councilor Gary Medvigy will be running to retain his District 4 seat following appointment by the council in January. Medvigy, a Republican, will be facing current Battle Ground City Councilor Adrian Cortes, a Democrat.

Battle Ground City Council 

Two of Battle Ground’s three city council seats will see a race, while current position 2 councilor Shane Bowman will run unopposed. 

At position 3, Steven Phelps did not file for re-election, though three are vying for his seat: Candy Bonneville, Neil Butler, and Shauna Walters.

Walters, the chief organizer of the recently-formed gun rights group North County Sons and Daughters of Liberty (NCSDL), initially filed to run for Position 7, though withdrew to go for the seat without an incumbent in the running. Position 7’s current holder, Philip Johnson, filed to retain his seat, going up against challengers Katrina Negrov and Joshua VanGelder — VanGelder is also a member of NCSDL.

La Center City Council 

One name thrown into the ring for La Center mayor might be familiar with anyone who does advertising business with The Reflector, as multimedia specialist Brittney Tracy has filed to run for the position against incumbent Greg Thornton. Brittney Tracy’s mother, Linda, is also running for a La Center City Council Position, hoping to dethrone incumbent Elizabeth Cerveny.

Linda Tracy has run for La Center office before, losing to Doug Boff in 2017. 

Incumbent Tom Strobehn is running unopposed for his seat on the La Center City Council, having been appointed to the Position 4 seat following the retirement of former seatholder Joe Valenzuela last year.

Ridgefield City Council 

In Ridgefield, there are three competitive races of the five positions up for re-election. Ridgefield City Council’s Position 2 did not see its incumbent, David Taylor, file to run again. Instead, Matt Swindell and Dana Ziemer will race for the seat. Position 5 incumbent Darren Wertz has a challenger in current city planning commission member Rob Aichele, and Position 7 incumbent Sandra Day will go up against Ronald Rowan.

Incumbents Lee Wells at Position 3 and Jennifer Lindsay at Position 6 have filed to retain their seats and face no challengers as of the filing deadline.

Woodland City Council 

In Woodland, Mayor Will Finn is looking for another term with no competition in sight, filing unopposed for the position. 

Other races are more competitive as Position 4 incumbent Karl Chapman will go against Keith Bellisle, a former candidate for Position 3, losing to the eventual winner David Plaza during the August 2017 primary.

Woodland City Councilor Susan Humbyrd did not file to retain her Position 5 seat, though two familiar names will be on the ballot for the seat. DeeAnna Holland, Woodland Action Center board president and former candidate for Woodland’s Position 2, will face off against Scott Peabody, a former candidate for appointment to Position 7, in seeking Humbyrd’s seat — Holland lost in 2017 to Carol Rounds and Peabody lost the appointment to Mike Benjamin last year.

Benjamin is not seeking re-election, however, withdrawing after filing for the Position 7 seat. Now Monte Smith stands unchallenged for the position.

Yacolt City Council 

Yacolt has a few competitive races, as incumbent mayor Vince Myers will face off against Katie Listek for the position. Yacolt Town Council Position 5 has incumbent Rhonda Rowe-Tice against challenger Marina Viray. Incumbents Amy Boget and Herbert Noble are running unopposed for re-election to Position 1 and Position 4, respectively.

School boards

Races for local school boards are generally less competitive.

Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors has recently-appointed board members Rob Henrikson and Mark Watrin running to retain their seats and aren’t facing any challengers. Hockinson School District’s board races are in a similar boat as incumbents Dave Olson, Greg Gospe and Gordon Smith are running unopposed to retain their own seats.

The same is true for the La Center School District, as Chris Yaw, Wendy Chord and Eric Lindberg filed to retain their seats, facing no challengers. 

Ridgefield School District’s board of directors will likely look the same after this year’s election as incumbents Joseph Vance, Brett Jones and Scott Gullickson were the only ones to run for their respective seats.

Green Mountain School District is following suit with all but one North County district, as its current seatholders — Rick Syring, Eric Lowe and Joyce Cooper are all running unopposed.

The only school district with a competitive race is Woodland Public Schools, as District 4 incumbent Matt Donald did not file for re-election. In his place, Tammy Graham and Doug Uno are seeking the position.

District 3 seatholder Lisa Beuscher did not file to retain her seat. Instead, Jeff Wray is the only one in the race for that seat. Incumbents Sarah Stuart and Janice Watts are running unopposed for the District 1 and District 2 seats, respectively.

Fire districts, ports

Though Clark County Fire & Rescue has unopposed races it will see the loss of one of its current commissioners due to a reduction in number following the merger of Clark County Fire Protection District 2 into the fold in 2016. Current Position 1 commissioner Larry Bartel is running unopposed for a seat that if fellow incumbent David Town had ran for it would be competitive, though Town is instead running for Position 2 whose incumbent David Lester did not seek to run for another term.

Clark County Fire Protection District 3 will see all of its incumbents running unopposed, as John Couture, Scott Anders and Rick Steele all filed for their respective seats. Fire District 10 Position 1 incumbent Richard Johnson did not file for re-election, though Gary Hagedorn has stepped up, running unopposed for the seat.

Fire District 13’s lone race won’t be competitive as incumbent Erv Beard has filed unopposed to keep his seat.

In port races both Ridgefield and Woodland have competitive contests for their seats up for election. At the Port of Woodland incumbent Robert Wile will have a challenger in former Woodland City Councilor J.J. Burke. Port of Ridgefield incumbent Scott Hughes will go up against David Kelly for his seat.

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