Now that Steve Stuart is Bailing

by lewwaters

Clark County CommissionersAs announced, Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart has been named as the next City manager for the city of Ridgefield, Washington. Stuart previously announced he would not run for reelection this year, very likely having read the tea leaves that his chances for reelection were somewhat remote, at best.

With his leaving office early, if he actually does, the seat becomes vacant and the political party he ran under, Democrats have to present three names to the remaining County Commissioners to select his replacement.

Whoever is selected will finish out Stuarts term in office and likely will run for reelection in this November’s election.

To date, three local individuals have announced their interest in attaining the seat by this process, former County Commissioner and State Senator Craig Pridemore, current Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Chair and former district director to former congressman Brian Baird Kelly Love Parker and well known political activist blogger Temple Lentz.

Of course, it is very possible that the Clark County Democrat Central Committee will name some others, but to date, these are the ones that have expressed interest.

Some seem to hold a false belief that whoever they choose to replace Stuart will somehow counter the work that sitting Commissioners Mielke & Madore have been accomplishing in changing the direction of the County. False because whoever is chosen will remain a one-person minority who at best can grandstand before the cameras and to the Lazy C that they could do better.

Forgotten is that no matter who is chosen, Commissioners Mielke & Madore will remain a two-person majority until the 2016 election, even if the county charter is changed in such a way as desired now by Democrats.

Some on the right have expressed the notion that Democrats might drag out the process to force a governor appointment and special election next year, but given that others will file for the seat in this years’ election, whoever wins this year will hold the seat for the next four years. That notion is not a worry.

Whoever files in May for the seat is of utmost importance as they must be electable and competent, not just a partisan parrot intent on countering the political efforts of the current majority.

Of course, they needn’t rubber stamp everything they are accomplishing either, but must be willing to weigh the benefit versus cost of each proposed policy

Someone that can appeal to people on both sides of the spectrum and give a fair assessment of policies.

Since County Commissioner is a partisan position, I expect both parties to run someone that best represents their particular partisan view. But let’s face it, partisanship has damaged the county and country far more than it has helped anything.

While much attention is being placed on who will be nominated to finish out Stuart’s term, voters should be paying attention to who will be running to win the next full term for County Commissioner.

Pridemore, Lentz or Parker or even an unknown name not announced just yet will not be nearly as important as who wins in the November election since I consider the known names to be more partisan than not.

Each has shown their own degree of adherence to the Democrat Party platform, perhaps thinking that platform is what is best for the people. Pridemore especially has followed the Democrat Party in numerous legislative votes, famously saying, “I think the Senate has balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and powerless,” as he cast the deciding vote on a tax increase in the State Senate in 2005.

Parker has seen the withdrawal of several small businesses after she took over the Chamber of Commerce, one small business owner commenting on the Lazy C, “She is the reason I quit paying dues to the Chamber. She is very anti small business. Several small business owners have dropped the Chamber because of her.”

Temple Lentz, on the other hand, is well known for her sarcastic wit in blasting the very two Commissioners that would name her to the seat, leading the Lazy C’s editor to exaggerate, “She has beaten the M&M boys like an old rug in her mostly liberal political blog called ‘The (Not Quite) Daily Couve.’ And we’re not talking about patty-cake here. She has left them bloodied and bruised.”

If Brancaccio wanted to destroy her chances of being chosen, that comment alone would be enough to accomplish that.

But to be fair, Temple has taken stands that did not necessarily adhere to the Democrat platform, such as her opposition to and speaking out against the Baseball Stadium proposal and 50¢ admissions tax that the Lazy C and Steve Stuart favored.

Brancaccio’s label of her as an “über-liberal” would not help in the general election in November, though. Not in the Northern areas of the county that remain largely conservative.

I have met with someone that has expressed interest in running for seat and that personally I feel would be best suited. It is not someone that Democrats would likely nominate, but someone with the experience and ability to place voters over the party’s.

And no, I won’t say who until they are ready to announce themselves.

So I would recommend not getting too distracted on just who is appointed to temporarily occupy Stuart’s seat and finish out his term if he actually resigns. I say that because a precedent was set with Sen. Benton that he could finish out his term and be City Manager of Ridgefield if he so chooses.

Just remember, whoever is chosen will remain a one-person minority that will likely just be getting up to speed on county matters as the general election is held.

The real importance will be what names we see on the November ballot.

7 Comments to “Now that Steve Stuart is Bailing”

  1. The whole point of Stuart resigning early is to give a head start to whoever might run in November. Same tactic used when Stuart was appointed by Craig Pridemore, Betty Sue Morris to allow a year for him to learn the office. He also used county resources to boost his candidacy, given the access as county commish to newsletters, 30 interviews of him aired from the time the ballots dropped, etc.

  2. You wouldn’t be in Stuart’s district by any chance, would you? I know damned well you can win county wide.

    Think about it.

  3. I’m in Mielke’s district.

  4. Too bad cause it would be fun to watch you take them on Lew!

  5. So is Ridgefield going to stand idly by and accept this? I’d be outraged to the point where I’d be confronting the miscreants who selected Stuart.

    I don’t think the Commission has to accept any recommdations do they? Can’t they appoint whoever they want to as long as the candidate is a registered Democrat?

  6. Lew, you need to get an Edit function so we can fix typos! 🙂

  7. I wish I could, Craig. Many have requested it, but WordPress doesn’t offer it yet.

    When they do, I’ll add it

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