Clark County election round up: Battle Ground Public Schools levy passing in first count of ballots

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The first set of results for the 2021 November general election are in, with a second attempt at a levy for Battle Ground schools’ apparent success among noteworthy takeaways from the preliminary results.

Following the 8 p.m. deadline on Nov. 2, Clark County Elections released the first count of ballots. North County voters had the opportunity to vote on city and town councilors, school board members, taxing measures and several potential amendments to the Clark County Charter.

There are still an estimated 25,000 ballots left to process after the first count, according to Clark County Elections. The 59,644 ballots processed on election night equal a voter turnout of about 18.4%. 

The next count is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Battle Ground schools levy on track to pass

Battle Ground Public Schools’ effort to pass a support property tax levy after a failure at the polls earlier in the year appears to be successful as of the first voting numbers released on Tuesday. As of the first count, the levy had about 52.3% of ballots in favor of the measure with 5,950 votes in all.

Battle Ground City Council races

One Battle Ground City Council incumbent trailed behind their challenger in the preliminary election results out of four competitive races in the city. 

As of election night, position 1 challenger Troy McCoy had about 54.9% of the vote, to incumbent Brian Munson’s roughly 44.8%. 

Position 4 incumbent Adrian Cortes was in the lead for his race with about 59.6% of the vote to challenger Josh VanGelder’s roughly 39.8%. 

Recently appointed position 5 seatholder Tricia Davis led that seat’s race with about 53.3% of votes to challenger Neil Butler’s roughly 46.3%. 

Position 6 incumbent Cherish DesRochers had about 63.3% of votes, while challenger Josie Calderon had about 35.8%.

La Center City Council races

The first count of votes showed all three La Center City Council incumbents behind challengers in their respective races.

Position 1 incumbent Justin Keeler, who was appointed earlier this year, only had about 38.3% of the vote to challenger Melissa Fox’s lead of about 61.6%. 

Position 2 candidate KC Kasberg had 60.7% of the vote for his race and was in the lead of incumbent Dennis Hill’s roughly 38.8% of the vote. 

Position 3 challenger Sean Boyle had 62.4% of the vote to incumbent Randy Williams’ roughly 37.3%.

Ridgefield City Council race

In Ridgefield, the only competitive race shows a strong lead for the incumbent. 

Current Ridgefield City Council Position 6 seatholder Jennifer Lindsay had about 75.2% of the vote to challenger Ken Spurlock’s roughly 24.2% as of the first count.

Woodland City Council races

Woodland City Council’s two competitive races show a former councilor poised for a return and a write-in campaign against one council hopeful falling short in the preliminary election results.  For position 1, J.J. Burke led with about 53.7% of the vote, against Keith Bellisle’s 45.9%. Burke previously served on the council from 2002 to 2014.

Position 6 candidate Jenn Rowland had a slight lead over write-in ballots with 188 or about 38.9% as of election night. Though specifics on who garnered write-in votes was not available as of the first count, current position 1 councilor Janice Graham previously announced her write-in campaign against Rowland. Write-ins made up 162 votes, or about 33.5% of the vote. Candidate Aaron Berghaus, who suspended his campaign, took 133 votes as of Nov. 2, or about 27.5% of the vote.

Yacolt Town Council race

In Yacolt, the incumbent for the one competitive race for town council was in the lead on election night. 

Appointed position 3 seatholder Joshua Beck led with about 59.6% of the vote, while challenger — and current council position 4 councilor — Ronald Homola had about 39.4%.

Battle Ground School Board races

Incumbents in Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors races led in the first count of ballots.

District 1 incumbent Mary Snitily had about 56.5% of the vote in her race, compared to challenger Chloe Seppala’s roughly 42.9%. 

District 3’s race to fill the position that will be vacated by Battle Ground City Council candidate Troy McCoy showed Ted Champine with about 78.6% of the vote. His challenger, Diane Langan, died unexpectedly in September, though she garnered about 19.9% of the vote. 

District 5 incumbent Jackie Maddux led her race with about 53.2% of the vote, against challenger Jenny Price’s roughly 46.9%. Price previously suspended her campaign.

Hockinson School Board race

Hockinson School District’s one competitive race shows challenger Teresa VanNatta in the lead with about 55.3% of the vote, ahead of incumbent Tim Hawkins’ roughly 43.6% in the first count for Hockinson’s District 1 seat.

Ridgefield School Board race

In the Ridgefield School District, the one competitive race has the incumbent in the lead as of the first count. District 5 director Zenia Bringhurst garnered about 63.6% of the vote to challenger Chantel Nash’s roughly 35.6%.

Woodland School Board races

Woodland Public Schools’ competitive races have one incumbent in the lead and another incumbent trailing to their challenger as of the voting results released on Nov. 2. 

District 4 challenger Trish Huddleston had 703 votes or about 51.6% percent of the vote to incumbent Tammy Graham’s 652 votes, or roughly 47.8%. 

Woodland’s District 5 race has incumbent Tom Guthrie leading with about 63.8% of the vote for his race, with challenger Eric Child taking 35.6%.

Clark County Charter amendments

All but one proposed amendment to the Clark County Charter garnered voter support as of the first ballot count. 

Amendment 1, which would make county executive elected offices nonpartisan, had about 68.6% of ballots cast in favor of the measure. 

Amendment 2, which would make the county council positions nonpartisan, garnered about 67.2% of votes in favor. 

Amendment 3, which would create a fifth Clark County Council district, had 73.2% of voters in support of the change. 

Amendment 4, which would increase the frequency of charter review periods from 10 years to five years, was passing with about 64.2% of the vote.

Amendment 5, which would establish an ethics code for Clark County government and an autonomous review process for ethics complaints, had 69.2% of voters in support of the move.

Amendment 6, which would establish an office of diversity, equity and inclusion, was failing as of the first count with about 44.2% of voters in support.

Amendment 7, which would make minor corrections to the charter, saw about 72.1% of voters in favor as of election night. 

Amendment 8, which clarifies the initiative and referendum process in the county, had about 79.2% of voters in support. 

Amendment 9, which would restrict eligibility to vote on initiatives and referendums that affect specific geographical regions, was passing with about 71.9% of voters in favor of the measure. 

Tax measures

A .2% retail sales tax increase in Ridgefield is likely to pass as of the first ballot count. The city’s tax measure garnered 59.3% of ballots in favor of the measure. The funds collected would be used for road infrastructure in the city.

In Woodland, a virtually identical measure had a tighter lead as of Nov. 2 with just nine votes separating those in favor. The city’s .2% sales tax for transportation had 264 votes, or about 51% in favor.

Woodland voters are rejecting another ballot measure for the city, which would change its form of government from a “strong mayor” to a council-manager form of government. As of Nov. 2, that measure only had 42.5% of voters in favor.

Clark County’s roundabout funding for body-worn cameras on sheriff’s deputies looks like it’s heading toward a defeat as of the first count of ballots. The county’s proposition 10, which would add a .1% sales tax to fund juvenile facilities and jails, only had about 44.1% of voters in favor. Proponents said funding juvenile facilities and jails would free up funds for the camera program.

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