18th Legislative District Election 2016

by lewwaters

Continuing on in my assessment of campaigns in this year’s Primary election, I now address the 18th Legislative District, considered a district more favorable to conservative candidates. And even though the overall district continually votes for Republicans, this year’s election is somewhat strange as it is the Republicans that seem upset with a couple candidates from their own party.

Old friendships and alliances seem to have dissolved over some votes last year that has really ruffled some feathers in the party hierarchy and in what has become the norm from the fringe elements controlling the party, they seem to feel smears and bullying will get people “back in line.”

With that in mind, I’ll review and offer my opinion. I trust that any reading this will weigh the views expressed and visit each candidate’s webpage or seek them out at functions and determine for yourselves who best to vote for according to your own values.


Ann Rivers, Eric K. Holt

Ann Rivers, Eric K. Holt

In the race for the Senate seat in the 18th Legislative District, we incumbent Republican Ann Rivers facing a challenge from Democrat Eric K. Holt.

So far, Holt’s campaign page is pretty slim other than he states he is for “Common Sense Government” and some undefined “Movement For The People.” His Linkedin page lists his profession as in the Transportation/Trucking industry with a decent years of experience behind him.

Since his webpage is short on where he stands on important issues, nothing of any merit can be ascertained until such time he updates the page, hopefully fairly soon as ballots will hit mailboxes in just a couple weeks.

Ann Rivers, on the other hand is very well known within the district, having won the seat in 2012 with nearly 68% of the votes against challenger Ralph Schmidt. She was highly visible in the fight against the now comatose Columbia River Crossing light rail project.

She recently come under fire from fringe elements within the Clark GOP that refuse to face the facts in her support not knowing the full story of others they boast of that did not support the package.

In spite of their angst, she enjoys broad support within the district for her efforts on behalf of citizens, standing her ground when need be and reaching across the aisle to build alliances when necessary.

Since only the two are running, both will advance to the general in November and in my opinion, Ann Rivers should be and likely will be reelected to the Senate.


Brandon Vick, Lisa Anderson, Justin Olberg

Brandon Vick, Lisa Anderson, Justin Olberg

In the race for Representative Pos. 1, we see incumbent Republican Brandon Vick being challenged by two Democrats, Lisa Anderson and Justin Oberg.

Lisa Anderson seems to be going for a “low budget” campaign by relying on a facebook page to list her experience rather than a dedicated campaign web page. If she does have one, I am unable to find a link to it.

Where she stands on pertinent issues is unsaid, relying on vague comments such as “I support a new, well designed bridge. I will support tax policies that help small businesses, as well as tax breaks for property owners who forego development in favor of farm and open space preservation. I support excellent schools and a healthy environment.”

Olberg on the other hand, lays out a list of where he stands on issues on a dedicated web site, but like all too many others of his youthful 23 years old, doesn’t quite display the maturity yet to understand that many issues he supports drain money from struggling middle class families.

He seems to support an increase in the minimum wage, but also claims a desire to “Build Strong Win-Win Partnerships with Industry.”

His issues seem to run the gamut of all of the Liberal talking points with little regard that they must also be paid for by taking more and more away from the middle class, as even increased taxes and fees on the wealthier end up costing the poorer with fewer jobs, higher prices and placing more families in need of government dependency.

Brandon Vick has shown remarkable growth since first winning the seat in 2012, drawing 66% of the votes against challenger Adrian Cortez.

Some expected Vick to fail as he did little in his first year in the legislature which this blogger thinks was a good move. I’d rather first term legislators learn before they jump in with just any piece of legislation to make a name for themselves.

The 2014 election saw Vick best Democrat challenger, Mike Briggs with 63% of the vote.

I was particularly impressed when Vick proposed the “Right to Try” legislation that would have given terminally ill patients to the right to try more experimental drugs after an extensive process as the drug was nearing FDA approval.

In my opinion, Vick deserves to be reelected and should easily pass through the primary along Olberg, only because he is more forthcoming on where he stands.


Liz Pike, Ilana Brown, Kathy GIllespie, Shane Bowman

Liz Pike, Ilana Brown, Kathy GIllespie, Shane Bowman

For the Position 2 seat we see incumbent Republican Liz Pike being challenged by fellow Republican Shane Bowman. Liz also is facing two Democrats, Kathy Gillespie and Ilana Brown.

Of the candidates, Brown is the least known, listing just three positions on where she stands, Higher Education, Gender Gap and Social Security. Nice young lady, but unfortunately, she seems to suffer from the same degree of immaturity in the realities of life as does Justin Olberg above.

Kathy Gillespie, on the other hand, it very well known within Democrat circles and around town, has won election to the Vancouver Schools Board of directors twice and involvement in several community activities.

Her priorities seem to line-up with those preferred by Liberal Democrats, “Fully fund basic education, boost job growth and support workforce development, expand affordable housing options, end traffic gridlock, improve livability for all and caring for our environment.”

All well and good, but she also claims she is “careful with taxpayer dollars,” “an advocate for responsible spending” and “advocates for zero-based budgeting.”

Just how she would manage to juggle that is a mystery to me.

Moving on brings us to the contentions between Republicans, Liz Pike and Shane Bowman.

Some of the more fringe element of the Clark County GOP claims that Bowman has been recruited to oppose Pike due to friction between her and Ann Rivers. Having spoken with both Bowman and Rivers, I find that claim incredulous and false.

What I do find is that Bowman, serving currently as a City Councilmember for the City of Battle Ground, filed against Pike because he feels she slighted his city in the legislature and desires for the Northern section of the 18th District to receive better representation.

Liz Pike is running for a third term in legislature, winning with just over 60% of the votes in 2012 against David Shehorn and in 2014 with 59% of the votes against Maureen Winningham.

From my point of view, Liz has been an excellent Representative, but has made some mistakes along the way, one of her biggest being going along with the Write-in Campaign launched by embattled County Councilor David Madore when he lost his bid for Council Chair last year.

My recommendation then to Liz was to run just as fast and far away from the fringe element promoting that campaign as she could, but she chose to remain. I have no doubt it will be an issue in the race, but I also doubt it will cause her to lose.

Still, she would be wise to place some distance between herself and Madore.

Unlike some others, Liz isn’t vague about where she stands and puts it all out for everybody to see. She has been a strong conservative voice in the legislature with substantial experience in business, farming and her community.

As much as I would like to see both Republicans advance to the general, that is highly unlikely. Therefore, I believe both she and Kathy Gillespie will advance to the general and have little doubt Liz Pike will be reelected in November.

As always, the above is how I envision things and many of you will disagree. That is fine and I hope you all due your own due diligence and check each candidate out and weigh them against each other, not just rely on the partisan letter behind their names.

It rests with you, but only if you vote.

Good luck to all candidates, may the best person win.
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One Comment to “18th Legislative District Election 2016”

  1. Great synopsis, Lew. Wish I was in the 18th or 17th but I believe I’m in the 49th still….

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