49th Legislative District 2016 Election

by lewwaters

With the announcement of seven-term Democrat, Jim Moeller not running for another term, the election takes an interesting turn in position 2, 49th Legislative District and as happens in other vacated seats, there is no shortage of hopefuls vying to succeed Moeller as he hopes to unseat 3rd Congressional District Representative, Jaime Herrera Beutler after abandoning his announced run for Lt. Governor.


Annette Cleveland, Lewis Gerhardt, Vaughn Henderson, Justin Forsman

Annette Cleveland, Lewis Gerhardt, Vaughn Henderson, Justin Forsman

The 49th Senate seat has incumbent Democrat Annette Cleveland, facing a challenge from fellow Democrat Vaughn Henderson, as well as from Republican Lewis Gerhardt and Independent Justin Forsman.

Cleveland is fairly well liked in the strongly Liberal Democrat 49th District, so I am at a loss why a fellow Democrat would hope to unseat her. Henderson is a 19 year-old dishwasher and student at Clark College proclaiming to be “a proud bisexual and member of the LGBT community.” Other than being selected a delegate to the Democrat State Convention, he offers no political experience.

Forsman made an unsuccessful bid for Vancouver City Council in 2015 and is seen by many as more of a fringe candidate, expressing his fears of fluoride, chemtrails and wanted his felony criminal record to be “off limits.”

Lewis Gerhardt Served on the Yacolt, Washington Town Council and served as the alternate for Battle Ground on the C-Tran Board of Director’s. He is an active PCO with the Clark County Republican Party with wedding plans in August 2016.

It’s easy to see that both Annette Cleveland and Lewis Gerhardt should advance to the General election for the Senate seat in the 49th District.


Sharon Wylie, Kaitlyn Beck

Sharon Wylie, Kaitlyn Beck

The race for the 49th Legislative District Pos. 1 seat sees incumbent Democrat, Sharon Wylie being challenged by Democrat Kaitlyn Beck, Clark County Republicans dropping the ball here as they encouraged no candidate in this race while doubling up for the Pos. 2 race (more on that later).

Wylie was first appointed to the seat in 2011, replacing Democrat Jim Jacks who suddenly and abruptly resigned in scandal. She has successfully defended her incumbency twice since then.

Wylie is also fairly well liked in the stronghold 49th for Democrats, so it remains unclear why another Democrat seeks to unseat her. Beck’s issues page reads like she agrees down the line with Sharon Wylie. From my own perspective, Ms. Wylie has been one of the more responsive Representatives to my questions, even though we are largely polar opposites in our political views.

But since they are the only two in this race, both automatically move into the general elections in November.


Alishia Topper, Monica Stonier, Carolyn Crain, Wade McLaren

Alishia Topper, Monica Stonier, Carolyn Crain, Wade McLaren

The position 2 seat is the one Jim Moeller is vacating and sees four seeking to replace him, two Democrats and two Republicans. This seat has not been won by a Republican since 1972 and is considered a safe seat for Democrats.

For the Democrats we see first term Vancouver City Council member, Alishia Topper facing former 17th Legislative District Rep. Monica Stonier in what appears to me as a desperate attempt on Stonier’s part to get back into the legislature after being deposed after one term by Republican Lynda Wilson.

For the Republicans we see Carolyn Crain returning for another run for the seat facing fellow Republican Wade McLaren, seen by some as more of a spite candidate by the Clark County Republicans as Crain has stood up to the hothead leadership that has taken over the CCGOP and has reached across the aisle to forge alliances to work together for the benefit of all citizens, not just the like-minded.

Monica Stonier is remembered for the local newspaper declining to endorse her in her 2010 primary bid due to what they said at the time was “close ties to the teachers union.” She did gain the endorsement in the general that year, more by default, but was defeated by Republican Paul Harris.

After that defeat she announced her effort to replace Jim Jacks in the 49th when he resigned in 2011, but once told she hadn’t lived in the district long enough to qualify, explained she didn’t have time anyway since she was in the process of moving her family from the 17th to the 49th.

In 2012 she was back in the 17th, winning her one-term then until defeated by Lynda Wilson in 2014.

She is now back in the 49th and making a bid to get back into the legislature. It does impress me as a desperate move to get back into the legislature.

Alishia Topper has been serving well on the Vancouver City Council as an advocate for the homeless and even though I don’t necessarily agree with every position of her, should be advanced into the General.

Wade McLaren is a big disappointment to me. He bills himself as “a liberty-minded, constitutional Republican,” but chose late in the filing period to oppose fellow Republican Carolyn Crain in the strong Democrat 49th Legislative District instead of one of the Democrats running for Pos. 1, leaving that position without a Republican in the running.

Carolyn has tried twice before and took her defeats from Jim Moeller with grace, learning along the way that this notion practiced by both Moeller and current CCGOP leadership of digging in your heels and opposes everything from the other side has only given us gridlock and hard feelings.

For the past two years she has worked to forge alliances with those on the other side of the aisle in an effort to end gridlock and move Washington State forward.

McLaren on the other hand, seems set to continue down the path of partisan division that will not set well with the majority of voters in the 49th.

I recommend Carolyn Crain advance to the General election along with Alishia Topper.

Above all, I hope readers will visit each candidates web site, study their issues and vote for who you best believes will represent the 49th in Olympia, working together to end the deep partisan division we have seen for so many years now.

It rests with you, but only if you vote.

Columbian Editorial Board Interview, House Pos. 2

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9 Responses to “49th Legislative District 2016 Election”

  1. Thank you Lew. While I do not like most of the stances of Alicia Topper (she likes light rail and rent control as well as a special taxing bond for the homeless) I do appreciate your position on considering who should advance. We know there will be two of us!


  2. Nicely done. Thank you.


  3. Given Crain’s efforts to silence conservatives and her support of democrats Chuck Green and Marc Boldt through her underhanded, bizarre politics, as well as her fit of spite since the party endorsed Ross in 2014 instead of her in the House race, I would dive into a vat of boiling hydrochloric acid before I voted for her.

    I will be sending a check to which ever democrat makes it through the primary and Crain will, once again, be crushed in the 49th.


  4. You needn’t boil the acid, room temperature will suffice 😉

    And, since last I heard, you don’t live in the 49th, you won’t be voting for her or anybody else in the 49th anyway.

    Ain’t it great that we all have freedom of choice?


  5. Lew can you repost this near when the 49th state LD comes up for a primary election? That way people can see it and vote with their pocket protectors? 😛


  6. Yeah, well. Cleveland is your typical hardcore leftist. Worked with Patty Murray!? JESUS H. CRISP!! That says it all. Unfortunately, it’s the 49th, and they just love that sort of thing. If Republican Gerhardt has any chance, he’s got to make sure those swing voters know exactly what kind of mentality they’ve been sending to Olympia. Cleveland is one of those who voted to use the law to force public schools and privately owned athletic clubs alike, to accept “transgender” men in the women’s shower rooms and “transgender” women using the men’s shower rooms. Most voters aren’t going to follow budgets and such, but this is an issue that hits home, and could not be more emblematic of what’s going on with the mindset of the political left. Don’t let her fluff this off.

    Henderson and Beck are two of the five wet-behind-the-ears children who’ve filed for elective office in Clark County this year. 19 y.o. to 23 y.o. WHAT THE HELL!? It’s my opinion that the politics of the Left are largely based on feelings and it’s therefore no surprise that all five of these kids are Democrats. After all, at their age, just what else do these young candidates have except feelings? But nooooo. Somehow, they can see thing things so clearly, and they just KNOW how everything is supposed to work. And of course, government is all about molding society now ain’t it? Spreading the wealth around. You bet. Lots of school textbooks and paper-and-pencil thinking really help. Of course.


  7. She’s far from what I see as an ideal candidate, but as you said, it is the 49th where conservative Republicans don’t stand a chance.

    Don Carlson was the last Republican to hold the Senate seat in the 49th and he was defeated by Craig Pridemore in 2004. He also was not a conservative.


  8. Well I also support our Constitution and more freedoms and getting the government firmly of our backs. I will reform our criminal justice system and many good things like my plans to help stop homelessness here locally.

    I Believe I will go forward.



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