The race is on for top county seats


The heat is on. 

Friday at 5 p.m. all the names of local citizens running for open county, state and federal offices were on file at the Clark County elections office.

Six county residents are vying for two seats on the Board of Clark County Councilors for districts three and four.

Incumbent Council member David Madore, district three, will be trying to hold on to his seat, while John Blom and Tanisha Harris campaign to take over that position.

In district four, current Council member Tom Mielke is not running again. Jockeying for his seat are Jennifer McDaniel, Roman Battan and Eileen Quiring. 

Council councilors serve four-year terms. Madore has been on the board since 2012. Mielke will end an eight-year stint on the board with his decision to abstain from re-election.

The following is information on each county council candidate, submitted to The Reflector. Inside is a chart showing other residents running in contested local races.

Candidates for Clark County Council, District 3:

Tanisha Harris

Prior to throwing her hat in the race for Clark County Council, Harris had announced she’d be running for a position on the state legislature.

“As much as I was committed to representing the people of the 17th Legislative District and Clark County in Olympia, I’m even more committed to taking care of business here at home,” she said. 

“It’s become increasingly clear to me that the citizens and families of Clark County District 3 deserve a councilmember who is open-minded, respectful, and will live up to our county motto: ‘Proud Past, Promising Future,’” Harris said.

Harris, a lifelong resident of Clark County and Democrat, is currently a CASA program specialist for YWCA Clark County, where she works with individuals and families involved in the Clark County family court and dependency court systems. 

Previously, she worked for the Evergreen Public Schools as a multicultural youth coordinator and coordinator of personnel and equity programs. Her firsthand experience with the children who are most impacted by cuts to Health and Human Services make her passionate about business at the County, according to the news release.

“I believe this work, along with my personal and professional background, will allow me to make positive decisions that will have an immediate impact on Clark County residents,” Harris said.

John Blom

Blom, a Republican, has served for the last three years on the Clark County Planning Commission and the board of Columbia River Mental Health Services.

He is currently president of the Clark County Association of Realtors and was recognized by the Vancouver Business Journal as part of their “Accomplished and Under 40” class of 2014.  

Last year Blom received the George C. Marshall Public Leadership Award from Fort Vancouver.

“My first priority is fixing the relationships that have been damaged with our public and private partners here and in Olympia,” he said. 

“Clark County needs collaborative and cooperative leadership to build the infrastructure, encourage growth in family wage jobs, and continue to improve the incredible quality of life we have here in Southwest Washington.”

Blom believes that many of the challenges facing our community — homelessness, affordable housing, and mental health care — can only be addressed by working together with delegates in Olympia, in the cities of Clark County, and the nonprofit partners within the various communities. 

“My background in business and on the planning commission makes me the best candidate to take Clark County forward,” he said.

David Madore

Madore, a Republican, was elected to the board four years ago and seeks re-election. 

He is the founder and CEO of US Digital, a Clark County company that designs and manufactures innovative precision sensors for motion control and solar power applications. 

Madore started this business in his home 37 years ago, and it has grown over the years to become a local business providing jobs for more than 130 local families. 

“When I took office, I took two oaths to uphold my responsibilities,” Madore said. “The first is the standard oath taken by all office holders in Washington — to uphold the Constitution of the United States, to uphold the Constitution of Washington, and to uphold the laws of our state and our nation.”

The second oath he wrote himself, and it hangs on his wall in his county office. This second oath is the foundation of his platform. 

“That is my job description,” he said.

In part, that oath reads: “I, David Madore, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully represent the citizens of Clark County in truth and integrity. I will embrace and live up to America’s core principles as written by our Founding Fathers and set forth in the Constitution of the United States.

“The key contrast between my opponents including the current county council majority of Marc Boldt, Jeanne Stewart, and Julie Olson compared to me is that oath that defines the true job description of an elected representative,” he said. “The contrast is in our allegiance — who we are to serve and represent… The people are our bosses. They are the ones in charge. We are accountable to them.”

Madore contends that since Boldt, Stewart and Olson took office in January, the council has seen a consistent pattern of three to two votes against the people on nearly every issue. 

“Marc Boldt, Julie Olson, and Jeanne Stewart vote against the people, and Tom Mielke and David Madore vote for the people,” Madore said. “We need to restore citizen representation to Clark County government — to return to the true job description of a county councilor — to faithfully represent the people.”

Candidates for Clark County Council, District 4:

Eileen Quiring

Quiring is a Clark County planning commissioner and former state senator. 

Quiring, a Republican, grew up in Clark County and graduated from Battle Ground High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from George Fox University.

“This is my home,” she said. “I was raised right here in Clark County. As a former small business owner, I am deeply concerned that our county is still experiencing a fragile economy. I will focus my energy on economic development opportunities to grow jobs in Southwest Washington. Clark County has untapped economic potential to attract new, advanced manufacturing and we need a leader who will make that happen.”

Quiring was appointed to the Clark County Planning Commission in 2012. She stated that she also brings more than 35 years of experience in private-sector business. 

As a former State Senator, Quiring said she understands the importance of fiscal responsibility in the budgeting process. As a senator, she negotiated hundreds of sensitive issues, including rural concerns, by building coalitions, according to her news release. In addition, rural

“Rural communities have been left behind due to restrictive land use policies which harm their families,” she said. “We need a strong leader who will protect our rural character, and respect the property rights of our farming and forestry families. As elected officials, we have a duty to respect the will of our citizens. Opportunities in the rural communities are every bit as important as in the urban communities.”

Roman Battan

Battan, a Democrat, grew up in the Camas-Washougal area and now owns a small media company.

He said he wants to make sure labels don’t blur the voters’ vision when it comes to what he stands for and how he plans to approach a county council seat.

“I’m not running as the Democratic candidate; I’m running as the candidate who looks to represent my district and it just so happens that I am a Democrat,” he said. “I don’t like the idea that somebody would exclude someone just based on a letter after their name.”

Battan said he plans to prioritize economic development within the county, specifically focusing on how to bring more jobs into the opportunity-starved area where thousands of people cross into Oregon every day to work. 

With experience dealing in a global economy and an eye for making deals, Battan hopes to streamline county operations and bring in resources to make the area more business-friendly.

“I believe in the idea of good governance,” he said. “I want to make sure that Clark County isn’t only a great place to live, but it’s a good place to work … I want to look at how we can bring jobs here to Clark County.”

This will be Battan’s second run for a Clark County Council seat; he first ran in 2012 but lost by a margin of a few hundred votes. 

Jennifer McDaniel

McDaniel, a Republican who said she considers herself a moderate, “common sense” conservative, plans to bring harmony to the legislative body which has endured an extended period of polarization and acrimony.

“I think people want to see a cohesive, more collaborative County Council,” McDaniel said. “Citizens expect us to work together to get things done, and I have a pretty good track record as a decision maker.”

McDaniel has served on the Washougal City Council for nearly a decade. First elected to the council in 2007, she was subsequently re-elected in 2011 and again in 2015. 

In her years on the council, she said she worked to cut spending through the recession while keeping taxes low; advocated for transparency and citizen communications; supported upgrades to Washougal’s streets, sidewalks, parks and trails; and voted to fund the city’s no-kill animal shelter.

In addition to the city council seat, she currently represents Washougal on the C-TRAN board, has served on the Washougal Schools Foundation board and the Clark College Business Board, and volunteers for meals on Wheels, Girl Scouts of America and Washougal Arts and Cultural Alliance, among others.

“I have worked hard for Washougal over the past eight years and our city is flourishing,” she said. “I know and love East Clark County, and I look forward to this opportunity to represent my district and to serve the entire county.”