Washington state’s candidate filing week for 2023’s municipal elections took place last week as numerous competitive races took shape for seats on city councils and school boards.
Following the 4 p.m. deadline on May 19, Clark County had 121 candidates who filed for 84 open offices. In this odd-year election, only lower-level government positions are up for grabs. Some current seatholders did not seek re-election, while some historically unchallenged positions garnered competitors.
For races with three or more candidates, the August primary is set for Aug. 8. The top two in the primary election, and races with two candidates, will compete in the Nov. 7 general election.
Battle Ground City Council
All three Battle Ground City Council seats up for election will go to an August primary as each seat had three candidates file.
Current councilor Shane Bowman filed to retain his position 2 seat. Bowman will face C.R. Wiley and Josh VanGelder, a former council candidate.
Councilor Shauna Walters did not file for re-election to Battle Ground City Council’s position 3 seat. Instead, Victoria Ferrer, Daniel Dingman and Craig Wigginton will compete for the position.
Current Battle Ground Mayor Philip Johnson also did not file to keep his position 7 seat. Max Booth, former council candidate Josie Calderon, and Eric Joe Overholser will run for the position.
La Center City Council
La Center’s recently-appointed mayor won’t see competition, though an open council seat and another currently occupied seat have competitive races.
Current mayor Thomas Strobehn will run unopposed. Strobehn vacated the position 4 seat after he was appointed mayor last month.
The now-vacant council seat features a former council candidate, Myrna Leija, who will go up against Crystal Harvey this November.
The position 5 seat, which is also up for election, features current councilor Elizabeth Cerveny and former councilor Linda Tracy. The two faced off in 2019, with Cerveny coming out ahead.
Ridgefield City Council
While Ridgefield has five seats up for election this year, only one seat has a competitive race. Recently-appointed position 2 councilor Clyde Burkle, position 4 councilor Matt Cole, position 5 councilor Rob Aichele and position 7 councilor Judy Chipman will run unopposed. Aichele was elected to his seat, while Burkle, Cole and Chipman were appointed into their positions.
The only competitive race is for position 3. Incumbent Lee Wells will face off against Mark Tyler in November.
Woodland City Council
Woodland Mayor Will Finn will see his first challenge for the position this year in a four-candidate race. Finn, who first ran unopposed in 2015 and later received no challenger in 2019, faces Janna Lovejoy, James Keller and Todd Dinehart in the August primary.
Three of the five Woodland City Council seats have competitive races. Position 6 seatholder Terry Hall and position 7 councilor Monte Smith will run unopposed to retain their respective seats.
Recently-appointed councilor Aaron Alderman will face off against Douglas Freimarck for the position 4 seat. For position 2, appointed councilor Melissa Doughty will go up against former council candidate Keith Bellisle. For position 5, councilor DeeAnna Holland has been challenged by Gabe Huston.
Yacolt Town Council
The town of Yacolt doesn’t have any competitive races this year. Position 1 councilor Ian Shealy has filed to succeed mayor Katelyn Listek, who is not seeking re-election. Incumbents Kandi Pieto and Ronald Homola filed to retain their position 2 and position 4 seats, respectively.
Though numerous school board seats are up for election, only a handful feature competitive races.
Battle Ground Public Schools’ only competitive race is for district 2. Appointed director Andrew Lawhon faces his first contest against challenger Debbie Johnson.
For the La Center School District, the district 2 position will see incumbent Amanda Miller go against Shannon Cluphf to keep her seat.
In the Ridgefield School District, current board president Joseph Vance did not seek re-election to his district 2 seat. Instead, Amber Baker and Rob Peterson will face off in November for the position.
Woodland Public Schools’ only competitive race will see district 1 incumbent Sarah Stuart face off against Katie Nichols for the seat.
The Green Mountain and Hockinson school districts have seats up for election this year, but there are no competitive races.
The only competitive race for other districts, like fire departments and ports, is for one seat on the Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Jade Bourke will face Brigid Taylor in the November election.