All ballots have been counted and the election department is reporting a final tally of who remains to move ahead to the general election. Nothing has actually changed from early results other than in the 17th Legislative District Senate race where Lynda Wilson pulled ahead of Tim Probst by a razor thin margin.
That race alone should tell you all how important single votes can be as Lynda finishes a scant 50 votes ahead of Probst.
And if you recall, this same Senate seat was won by Don Benton in 2012 by a mere 74 votes over Tim Probst who initially felt he had it in the bag then.
In his usual bluster, Probst felt he had a sure thing this time as well, but once again came in second by a handful of votes. Time will tell if that carries forward in the general or not.
Moving on, it is no surprise to see a Democrat sweep in the 49th Legislative District leaving Lewis Gerhardt, the lone Republican to advance, with little chance against incumbent State Senator, Annette Cleveland.
Both House seats have only Democrat candidates with Sharon Wylie facing little opposition from challenger, Kaitlyn Beck for Pos. 1.
Pos. 2, vacated by long term Democrat Jim Moeller who is challenging incumbent Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler for the 3rd Congressional District, also sees two Democrats vying for the open seat.
First term Vancouver City Council Member Alishia Topper who finished behind district hopping former 17th Legislative District Rep. Monica Stonier who was soundly defeated for reelection after one term in the house by Lynda Wilson.
It’s anybody’s guess at this time which one will win.
We will likely see all three incumbent Republicans easily returned to their offices in the 18th Legislative District, a safe district for Republicans. Sen. Ann Rivers, Rep. Brian Vick and Rep. Liz Pike all finished strong against challenges by Democrats Eric. Holt, Justin Oberg and Kathy Gillespie.
Moving on to the 17th Legislative District, we covered the Senate race above that saw Lynda Wilson win by a scant 50 votes ahead of Tim Probst. Lynda faces more nasty attacks from Democrats and Probst, likely even nastier than what was seen in his 2012 defeat. Democrats have wanted this seat for several years and see Sen. Benton’s retirement as an easy grab.
Obviously, they underestimate Lynda Wilson who is no doubt going to give them a run for their money.
Pos. 1 in the 17th is open currently due to Lynda Wilson vacating the seat to run to fill the seat in the Senate. The top two candidates are Republican Vicki Kraft and Independent Democrat, Sam Kim, who initially announced as a Republican only to file as an Independent Democrat much later.
Ordinarily I’d call this a safe seat for the Republicans, but rumor has it that Kraft’s linkage to controversial County Councilor David Madore and some of the more bombastic leaders from within the Clark County Republican Party may jeopardize her chances, unless she can show distance between herself and them.
Republican Paul Harris will likely best his Democrat challenger, Martin Hash. Harris enjoys the advantage of incumbency against Hash, a super intelligent and educated man that ran once before. Hash is known for not toeing the Democrat Party line which may see some Democrats shy away from him.
I must admit I completely misread the race for County Council District Four that saw Republican Eileen Quiring finish well ahead of opponents, Democrat Roman Battan and Republican Jennifer McDaniel. Seeing McDaniel finish last caught me completely off guard.
We end up seeing Quiring, a former Oregon Legislator now facing off against Democrat Battan who’s never held public office. Don’t get me wrong here, I have nothing against Battan, but unfortunately for him, District Four is largely within the 18th Legislative District that is a safe district for Republicans.
Can Battan do it? We’ll see come November as moderate Republicans aren’t too pleased over Quiring’s connections to Madore.
For District Three, County Council, controversial Councilor David Madore being soundly defeated by challengers Tanisha Harris (Democrat) and John Blom (Republican) is no surprise. We have seen unprecedented media opposition to Madore as he continued with misstep after misstep, attacking citizens, fellow councilors and staff on social media.
I have it on good authority that the Clark County Republican Party is very displeased seeing Republican Blom besting Madore and have been discussing him negatively. I’m not at liberty to reveal much just yet, but it does seem to be more foul air coming from that direction, yet again.
We also see Madore announcing last evening on his facebook page, “Stay tuned for some very good news (around September 1st) that will breathe new life into our community.”
Exactly what is meant is not said, but there have been strong rumors of him starting up an alternative media site. That would fit since in June 2015 he approached me in what I took as an effort to buy me off, “needed one key full time media expert with the right make up to head it up and build the team” and stating that his former media site, Couv.com had been “repurposed.”
Even though soundly rejected by “the will of the people,” it looks like he has no intention of fading away.
As said above, Jim Moeller vacated his safe 49th Legislative District seat to oppose incumbent 3rd Congressional District Representative, Jaime Herrera Beutler. Jaime came out with more than twice the votes Moeller received. In fact, she received a significant number of votes ahead of all of the votes cast for all five of the Democrat challengers, Jaime being the lone Republican running.
This very well may mark the end of Jim Moeller’s political career as he seems unaware that the boundaries for the district were redrawn to favor Republicans in exchange for drawing lines for the newly added 10th Legislative District to favor Democrats after the 2010 census.
Had Jim remained in the 49th I have no doubt he would once again easily have won is seat as the 49th is one of the more Liberal districts in the state. But, he chose to reach higher and we will see what happens in November.
The above is my assessment of the primary and this early out might not mean very much for November. Things are always subject to change as we gear up and move towards the general election.
But as I said initially, your vote matters and is important to what happens. Tim Probst on election night was grinning ear to ear as the initial county had him 212 votes ahead that saw him doing his happy dance and declaring “We’ve just seen unity and love for one another beat divisiveness and anger. We’ve just seen the regular people beat the Big Money.”
In the end, he finished 50 votes behind as the rest of the ballots coming in by mail were counted.
Your vote does matter. But, only if you cast it.
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