Posts tagged ‘18th Legislative District’

June 26, 2016

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.

read more »

January 10, 2016

Sen. Ann Rivers Town Hall Jan 9, 2016

by lewwaters

An excerpt of the town hall held for Washington State 18th Legislative District featuring Sen. Ann Rivers over her vote for the Transportation Bill in 2015.

Clark County Conservative author takes no position as I reside in the 49th Legislative District.

For more information on opposition to her vote, see Clark County Politics

October 13, 2014

The “Charm” of “BULLY” Winningham

by lewwaters

Seriously, Democrats? What barrel did you scrap this one out of the bottom of?

August 4, 2014

Mike Briggs, Ready To Sell You Out

by lewwaters

For all of you voters still marking your ballots and something to retain should by some miracle, Briggs make it through the top two primary, an excerpt of an interview Briggs had with KPSU’s “the Raging Moderate, not afraid to tact to the left” on June 26, 2014. Full interview can be heard on Briggs’ campaign page.

Photo by Clark County Politics blog

Such dependence on Portland has contributed to our economic problems in Clark County as they seek more ways to suck our revenues out and entice our citizens to spend their money over there instead of in our own community. Portland needs to become a friendly neighbor to us, not the out of state special interest interested only in what they can take from us.

July 27, 2014

Mike Briggs & A Bogus Abraham Lincoln Quote

by lewwaters

Apparently getting more desperate, marginal Democrat candidate for the 18th Legislative District, Mike Briggs, is trying to score points as a “friend of labor,” thinking dwindling union support might help his fleeting cause of being elected. In so doing, he posted the following on his facebook page recently;

Briggs Fasle Lincoln Quote

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November 1, 2012

Anthony Bittner Pleads Guilty, to Serve 41 Days

by lewwaters

Anthony Bittner drew a lot of attention back in 2010 when the then 18 year-old High School Senior filed to run for the 18th Legislative District Representative seat eventually won by Ann Rivers. He drew even more attention when he was arrested for his involvement in a local organized crime ring.

Prior to the arrest, this blog was giving Bittner some support, not so much because I felt he would win in the heavily contested race, but because I liked the idea of a young man getting involved politically and was looking forward to his growing and maturing in public service.

All of that was dashed with the arrest, likely along with any political aspirations he may have had. I can only imagine the disappointment of his parents and younger sister who idolized her older brother.

But like many young people, Anthony chose a bad path, got involved with a bad crowd, did drugs and was arrested.

read more »

August 24, 2012

Adrian Cortes Reenters 18th District Race.

by lewwaters

In a Press Release received from the Adrian Cortes Campaign, it is announced that Cortes is reentering the race he withdrew from earlier.

Adrian Cortes at (360) 608-3513


Battle Ground City Councilman and businessman, Adrian Cortes, announced his re-entry into the race for the 18th District State House Position One. Cortes, a Republican, said “I looked at the primary results as well as the outcome of the appointment process, and the large amount of daily calls, texts and e-mails from supporters asking me to reconsider; it became clear to me that the people want another choice.”

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August 23, 2012

Liz Pike Bests Vick For Appointment to 18th District, Pos. 1

by lewwaters

Just received word that Republican Liz Pike has been selected to fill the seat left open when Ann Rivers was selected to replace Retiring Joe Zarelli in the State Senate.

Four of the six commissioners from Clark and Cowlitz County’s selected Liz due to her past experience in office on the Camas City Council.

Liz will finish out the term of Ann Rivers until the end of the year. Then, whoever wins the election for Pos 1 18th Legislative District will be sworn in.

Liz is currently campaigning for Pos. 2 in the 18th and given her strong finish in the primary against 2 Democrats, receiving over 61% of the votes, she will likely move over the Pos. 2 while Brandon Vick will be likely winner against write-in, Pete Silliman. If Adrian Cortez rejoins the race, it will likely be a very close finish.

Congratulations Liz, we look forward to your representation in the 18th.

July 1, 2012

Liz Pike, Ready to Restore Washington State

by lewwaters

The 18th Legislative District has been a strong Republican district for a long time. It is noted for electing strong conservative Republicans like Joe Zarelli, Ann Rivers and Ed Orcutt.

The recent redistricting saw Democrats licking their chops in hopes they might gain a foothold with Orcutt being districted out. Enter Liz Pike, a long time Republican who wants to see the 18th remain in the GOP’s hands and is facing two before unheard of Democrats, David Shehorn, retired computer systems worker and Ryan Gompertz, barely out of High School and studying history and economics at UW.

Neither Democrat has any political experience to speak of other than volunteer work with the party.

Liz Pike, on the other hand, comes with the experience of running for and winning an election to serve the community on the Camas City Council, as well as owning her own small business, Pike Advertising Agency.

She currently serves as Political Affairs Director for the Building Industry Association of Clark County as well and true to her roots growing up on a Clark County Dairy Farm, operates Shangri-La Farm, a small scale sustainable farm in Fern Prairie. She also was a volunteer co-organizer for the Washougal Farmers’ Market as well as an avid promoter of the “buy local, slow food” movement and more.

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June 7, 2012

Adrian Cortes to Withdraw from 18th District Race

by lewwaters

Received in email today

June 7th, 2012

For Immediate Release
Adrian Cortes

Adrian Cortes to withdraw from campaign for State Representative for the 18th legislative district position 01.

For immediate release

Adrian Cortes

Candidate for State Representative, 18th legislative district, Position 01

Ph. 360-608-3513

Battle Ground, Washington, June 8th, 2012

On May 18th, I was encouraged by the Honorable Senator Joe Zarelli to run for legislative office. After only a short amount of deliberation, I decided to step up to serve given that no one else had done so; things have changed. Now there are two Republicans running for the same Representative seat.

After giving it some very serious thought, I recognize that my current schedule cannot support the huge time demands that waging a legislative campaign would take. With a demanding schedule that includes (most importantly) my family, work, college studies, and a serious commitment to my role as a councilmember in the city of Battle Ground; my priorities remain local.

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May 14, 2012

Delegate Vote Challenge in the 18th District Rebutted

by lewwaters

It comes as no surprise that the legal challenge launched, seeking the voiding of the delegates chosen in the 2012 Clark County GOP convention for the 18th Legislative District, amid allegations of irregularities and fraud was not well received by same, most notably the Ron Paul supporters who came out in the majority on delegates and face the danger of not being seated in the State GOP Convention to be held in Tacoma.

As I showed in the previous post, Delegate Vote Challenged, 18th District Could Lose All GOP Delegates, supporters of candidate Mitt Romney were not pleased with the convention outcome and have cried foul to the WSRP, launching the effort to void the delegates selected in the 18th Legislative District.

In a continuance of the exceptional organizational skills seen in Paul’s supporters, that was used to discover the weaknesses in the system and legally exploit them to their advantage, Washington state co-chair for the Ron Paul campaign and Clark County Delegation Chair, Katja Delavar has fired back, along with her husband, former Washougal City Council Member Michael Delavar both drafting their own rebuttals to the challenge and to be sent to the WSRP, here and here.

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May 14, 2012

Delegate Vote Challenged, 18th District Could Lose All GOP Delegates

by lewwaters

The fiasco known as the 2012 Clark County GOP Convention may be over, but the results of it are far from done. Irregularities and questionable delegate votes has prompted at least 2 Mitt Romney supporters, who were credentialed delegates from the earlier caucuses to challenge to delegate selection in the 18th Legislative District where Romney, who won the caucus straw poll, ended up with very few delegates, while Ron Paul who didn’t fare well in the caucus came out with the majority of delegates to the state convention.

Much finger pointing and blaming of each other followed the close of the convention that ended up with Clark County Republicans only being able to send 75 delegates and no alternates to the state convention in Tacoma, instead of the allotted 94 delegates and 94 alternates.

There is not much sense in rehashing the blame game here as from where I sit it appears everybody had a share in the blame.

Ron Paul supporters initially received much of the blame, seeing the previously announced “caucus strategy” unfold all across the state and given that he ended up with the bulk of selected delegates after doing poorly in the caucus straw poll.

Clark County GOP Chair Brandon Vick ended up accepting blame for the fiasco.

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April 18, 2012

With Probst’s Announcement, the Campaigns Get More Interesting

by lewwaters

Now that we see 17th Legislative District Representative Tim Probst feeling he is ready to tackle and entrenched incumbent for a State Senate seat, his seat in the House will be an open seat that the Democrats surely will want to retain with another person. Should Tim lose the Senate race, which is likely, he will not be allowed to just return to his House seat.

The 17th now has a Republican Senator, Don Benton who has won the seat 4 times now and Paul Harris, also a Republican holding down position 2, running for a second term.

Republicans have Mike Appel and Julie Olson, both of whom announced their intent to run against Probst prior to his coming out on his bid against Benton.

Knowing that the Democrats will not want to lose the seat held now by Probst, it would be expected that they recruit a strong candidate to run in his place. All indications at this time is that is not what they have planned and are trying to recruit Monica Stonier, who lost to Republican Paul Harris in the 2010 elections by nearly 7 percentage points and who we last heard of, was trying to relocate her residence to qualify to try to be appointed to replace Democrat Jim Jacks, who abruptly abandoned constituents due to scandal in 2011 in the 49th Legislative District.

The Columbian endorsed her campaign in the 2010 General Election, but did not in the primary election that year citing they “were — and remain — worried about her close ties to the teachers union.” She still lost.

read more »

January 23, 2012

Liz Pike Files For 18th Legislative District Representative Run

by lewwaters

Due to redistricting, the seat currently held by Republican Ed Orcutt in the 18th Legislative District will be vacated as Ed is moved into the 20th District. Former Camas City Council Member Liz Pike has filed with the PDC to be elected in Ed Orcutt’s place. Today, Ms. Pike released the following;

January 23, 2012

For Immediate Release
Contact Liz Pike
Tel. (360) 281-8720

Liz Pike Announces Plans to Run for 18th District State Representative, Position 2

Liz Pike, former Camas City Council Member, has filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission as a candidate for State Representative, District 18.  This seat is currently held by Representative Ed Orcutt, who is now in the 20th District due to redistricting.

“I am running for State Representative because I want to help restore the public’s faith in state government.  I am disappointed to lose Representative Orcutt as our district’s State Legislator.  I have decided to run for his seat to try to maintain the strong representation and courage he has provided,” said Liz. “If we commit to the ideal of reducing burdensome regulations and onerous rules, and work to shrink the size of government by prioritizing spending, our State will, once again, become business friendly.  What we desperately need is more private sector job growth.  Our State cannot continue on its current path.”

Liz is a small business owner of Pike Advertising Agency since 1995. She is currently contracted to serve as Political Affairs Director for the political action committee of the Building Industry Association of Clark County.

Liz was raised on a dairy farm in Brush Prairie and has lived in the 18th District most of her life.  She operates a small sustainable farm in Fern Prairie raising sheep, turkeys, chickens and grows fruits, vegetables and berries.  Liz has two grown children.

The campaign website is  Liz can be reached at Tel. (360) 281-8720 or by email or on FaceBook under “Liz Pike.”

August 11, 2010

The Generosity of the Cowlitz GOP is Underwhelming

by lewwaters

The Cowlitz County GOP has sent out an invitation to candidates for a BBQ, August 21, 2010 inviting all candidates to come speak before attendees.

That I can recall, I have never met Schimmel, but this “invite” to speak, FOUR DAYS AFTER THE PRIMARY is just unbelievable.

If you recall, the Cowlitz GOP was the first County Party to endorse candidates, months before the candidate filing deadline had even arrived. One of their endorsed candidates ended up having to withdraw over personal reasons and I never heard if they endorsed anyone in his place.

Other than entertainment, what good will it do for candidates to speak before those in attendance 4 days AFTER the primary?

Obviously, non-endorsed candidates did not receive a fair shake from the Cowlitz GOP and voters were denied a fair and balanced assessment of candidates running for office there.

As I have said many times, individual endorsements of candidates is one thing, but the party itself should not issue endorsements prior to the primary, even with out top two primary system. Voters deserve better.

Poetic justice would be for this to be the platform used by cute little Jaime Herrera and scandal ridden Jon Russell to make their concession speeches.

Little wonder the GOP has such a difficult time winning elections in counties with such poor party leadership.

August 2, 2010

Anthony Bittner’s Missing Voter Pamphlet Statement

by lewwaters

Several of you have contacted me inquiring about young Anthony Bittner and what is going on with his campaign. Other than reading in the Columbian that he is conducting a “stealth campaign,” I honestly do not know.

Some have felt he might have dropped out since no photo or candidate statement appeared in the voters pamphlet, but I can report that is not so.

I received the following just today concerning his missing statement,

Hey supporters! I actually DID send in a voter’s statement and photo. Still trying to get to the bottom of why it was not in the pamphlet. Here is the statement I submitted. Please forward to all your friends and supporters. I appreciate you all.\!

My name is Anthony Bittner, running as a new generation of Republican. I am not a politician, not bought by special interests, but rather a statesman and citizen who will listen to you, not talk at you.
I am running to balance our State’s budget by offering fiscal solutions, not more complaints. My Agency Reduction Act, and business tax break proposals, will lower State spending of your money and get Washington on the road to recovery.

I support State’s rights, 2nd Amendment rights, Civil rights, Right to Life, and limited government intrusion.

I have no idea why, if he sent it in, it was not included, unless they received after the deadline. But, it’s nice to hear he is still campaigning.

We’ll see how it all shakes out come August 18th.

Remember, vote and get your ballots in before August 17.

August 2, 2010

Ann Rivers Endorsed by the NRA

by lewwaters

Way to go, congratulations, Ann.

Ann Rivers Receives NRA Endorsement
“It’s Your Freedom – It’s Your Vote! Vote for Ann Rivers.” – NRA

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund announced today that they have endorsed Ann Rivers as candidate for the State Representative in District 18, Position 1. “Ann Rivers is a fellow NRA member and has indicated strong support for the Second Amendment and working knowledge of the issues surrounding this most important debate,” states the NRA press release, “so please be sure to spread the word to your family, friends and fellow gun owners to vote for Ann Rivers on Tuesday, August 17!”

Rivers was honored by the Friends of the NRA in February for her work on behalf of the Clark County Competitive Shooters. She and her husband Fred have been an NRA members for many years. “It is such an honor. First to be honored by the Friends of the NRA in February, and now to be endorsed by them, I am truly grateful,” states Ann.

Growing up in a family of hunters, Ann has hunted many times with her husband and two children. “One of the many legacies I want to leave behind is the right to hunt and to insure that families coming on after mine will continue to enjoy this fantastic hobby and adventure,” Ann said.

Ann is running for the open seat vacated by State Representative Jaime Herrera. The NRA indicated that Ann Rivers’ primary opponents were not endorsed because these candidates indicated hostility towards the second Amendment.

To learn more about Ann Rivers and her campaign, please visit

Ann Rivers continues to outpace her opponents and this latest endorsement, added to the Longview Daily News and the Columbian along with several others, shows the quality of who she is.

Ignore the smears being leveled her way and reject the despicable cur who initiated them.

Ann Rivers is truly One Working for All.

August 1, 2010

Ann Rivers Endorsed By the Longview Daily News and the Columbian

by lewwaters

The Longview Daily News has today, Sunday August 1 issued Ann Rivers an endorsement to advance as one of the candidates in our top two primaries to win the seat being vacated by Jaime Herrera for the 18th legislative District.

They also included Washougal’s scandal ridden council member, Jon Russell.

Rivers was considered the favored to win the seat Herrera was appointed to in late 2007, until Herrera suddenly appeared and became the hands down favorite, somehow.

The Daily News says of Rivers,

“[She] has a professional’s understanding of the political process that likely would be of considerable value in Olympia. She is president of AMR consulting, a government and public affairs consulting firm. Rivers has managed a number of political campaigns, as well as advised corporate clients on political issues. She has worked with the Republican Caucus in the Legislature and as consultant with the House Republican Organizational Committee in Southwest Washington.”

They also said,

“Rivers is the candidate most familiar with Cowlitz County, having lived here for many years. As Rivers pointed out during our editorial board meeting, she is the only candidate in the race who has lived in both Cowlitz and Clark counties.”

Of Russell they said,

“[He] is the only candidate for the 18th District House seat who has served as an elected official. He’s been a member of the Washougal City Council since 2006.”

What they neglected to include was Russell’s dismal performance while on the council where $100,000 came up missing and he pointed all blame on the Republican mayor, Stacee Sellers that he threw under the bus in order for Democrat, Sean Guard to be elected.

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

Jon Russell Says, “The People Deserve To Know The Truth”

Russell, seriously lagging in both funds and supporters, is resorting to the sleazy tactics he is known for by trying to link his opponent to a blogger who has exposed Russell’s own corruption and shortcomings continually on the blog site Jon Russell Watch due to a past business arrangement.

He condemns Ann Rivers, even trying to begin a rumor that she is not pro-life knowing her actions in regards to pro-life is something impossible for him to match, by “guilt by association” and gives himself a pass for throwing a Republican under the bus in favor of a Democrat in 2008.

Jon Russell Watch is also where Jon was exposed for claiming an Academic degree he does not hold, as picked up by the Columbian.

Ann Rivers, besides being the best qualified candidate, has remained above the fray. Although she knows this blogger, so does Jon Russell, they also having worked together in the past.

Ann Rivers is the candidate that called on ALL candidates to respect and restore each others campaign signs as they became vandalized, a call Russell seems to have ignored as far as I can tell. Rivers and her husband have maintained that pledge since making it, restoring and repairing competitors’ signs.

Ann Rivers, along with the lone Democrat, Dennis Kampe, received the primary endorsement from the Columbian, who said,

“Rivers is the most visible, effervescent and persuasive campaigner among the four GOP contenders. To balance the state budget, she would send it first to state Auditor Brian Sonntag, who this year in performance audits identified millions of dollars in potential savings.”

Of Jon Russell they acknowledge,

“[He] has been mired in multiple controversies of that council and has been less than forthright in describing his academic background.”

While I concur with the Daily News on Ann Rivers, if I lived in the 18th legislative district, I’d give serious consideration to Brandon Vick for one of the top two spots.

July 15, 2010

Jon Russell’s “Fact Check” Not So Factual

by lewwaters

Jon Russell, Washougal’s erstwhile 3rd Congressional District candidate and embattled council member is at it again. After dropping his poorly led campaign for the 3rd Congressional District, shot to pieces once perky little Jaime Herrera suddenly jumped in less than 2 hours after Brian Baird announced retirement, Russell has decided to commit further political suicide by engaging in a personal online feud with local Blogger, Kelly Hinton by creating a blog that Jon calls Fact Checking The Web.

To add to Jon’s folly, he uses this personal feud in a pathetic effort to taint his opponent, Ann Rivers, who is so far out in front of Jon that he has virtually no chance at advancing politically in this race, claiming Kelly’s Blog, Clark County Politics is “The Ann Rivers Campaign Attack Blog.”

This seems to follow a recent pattern by a Clark GOP Party Board Member who supports Jaime Herrera to falsely link 3rd Congressional District candidate, David Castillo to words Kelly wrote as “reason enough to support Jaime Herrera.” The Board Member has since admitted to a “knee jerk reaction,” indicating they now see their call was wrong.

Kelly has an acerbic style to his writing that irritates a lot of people. But he also admits when he is wrong and posts corrections with apologies. He is also rarely wrong factually.

Kelly, like me, writes what he feels and takes no direction from anyone. Likewise, even though he has a political consulting company, he does not currently work for either the Castillo or the Rivers campaign, confirmed to me by the parties accused.

Kelly also has a First Amendment right to freedom of expression and no, he and I do not see eye to eye on every issue.

Russell, a highly ambitious young man struggling to climb the political ladder to higher office, has been under fire for displaying poor judgment last year as a scandal broke in Washougal concerning unaccounted for funds to the tune of $100,000.00. Jon immediately distanced himself from the issue by pointing all fingers at the mayor, Stacee Sellers, one week prior to the election.

Sellers, a Republican like Russell, lost the election to the Democrat challenger, Sean Guard, who originally sent the matter of the unaccounted for funds to the State Auditor. Sean is also the brother of Jeff Guard, the mayor that was defeated by Stacee Sellers in the previous election.

Jon continues to try to distance himself while Kelly keeps hammering on the scandal that would otherwise most likely be swept under the rug by now.

Jon states his claims on his “Fact Check” blog, but offers no documentation in his defense, just raises false allegations against his opponent.

More coverage of Jon’s involvement in the Washougal scandal was documented by CCC at:

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

Jon Russell Says, “The People Deserve To Know the Truth”

Jon has yet to admit to his lack of foresight and instead, decides to engage in a personal feud with a blogger and desperately try to tie his opponent to something she has absolutely no control over.

Hinton says on his blog, “And as much as I appreciate the promotion to ‘long time political consultant,’ the fact is that Rivers is an excellent consultant in her own right. She doesn’t need MY help to beat Russell…”

Jon is committing political suicide with this tactic as he now focuses on a personal feud and not his message that he wishes voters to hear.

I recently sat down with Jon for coffee and told him that he needs to change his campaign style, if he wishes to succeed. The era of stepping on others to get ahead is over. The era of throwing fellow Republicans under the bus doesn’t resonate well with voters.

Drawing voters’ attention to blog sites you would rather they not read by engaging in a personal feud will only allow those voters to see documented claims against you.

Many people, especially candidates, marginalize blogs or do not read them at all, opting instead to stay focused on their message.

Russell chooses to stop speaking his message to voters and instead feud with a voter who blogs. In the process, he paints himself as petty by falsely linking his opponent to that blog, just as he did when he tried to begin a rumor that she is not pro-life, in spite of admitting to me that he knows of her history proving otherwise.

If he is willing to ignore his campaign for a personal feud, how ineffective would he be if he somehow gained a seat in our legislature every time someone in the media or voters disagreed with him?

Sorry Jon, but you are your own worst political enemy. You only hurt yourself with these juvenile outbursts and false linkage of Ann Rivers to Kelly’s blog.

June 20, 2010


by lewwaters

Once again, elections have rolled in on us. Oh, it’s not the all important presidential election, but mid-term elections that for the local community, are just as important. With the burgeoning deficits and ever deepening debt of the city, county and state, this might be one of the most important local elections we will see.

That’s why it is so important that we voters and taxpayers have some good choices in who to elect and that’s what we have this time around, some very good choices in who to select to represent and govern us. Our choices will give us the opportunity to effectively neuter the out of control over spending and taxation we saw this year. Or, continue on ever deeper into the morass of economic decline, increasing unemployment and welfare state.

At the top of the list are Senator Patty Murray, elected 18 years ago and who has voted nearly lock-step with the socialist agenda brought in by the strangely different Democratic Party that used to actually care about hard working middle class blue collar America.

We have 3 choices to finally replace her and bring some sanity back to our Senate, former gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi, former football player, super bowl winner and farmer, Clint Didier and a highly successful businessman, Paul Akers. This is the race I just can’t make my mind up on who to support, just knowing that Patty Murray has to go and any on of the 3 could do a better job in representing Washington State and bringing a touch of sanity back to the US Senate.

We also have a highly contested race to replace retiring Brian Baird, another Democrat, in our 3rd Congressional District. Of a multitude of candidates, three stand out as having any chance at all, Democrat Denny Heck and Republicans state legislator Jaime Herrera and Navy Veteran David Castillo, who also has held sub-cabinet level positions in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security.

My choice here is easy as only David Castillo has the well rounded experience we need to join in with others in turning America around. Heck and Herrera just don’t have it, Herrera too often choosing to join in with Democrats in a path that has brought us to where we are and Heck, a Democrat who would follow along that detrimental path.

At the state level we have several offices contested, one of which is the 18th legislative district seat that Jaime Herrera will be leaving, win or lose in her bid for the 3rd Congressional District Race. Hopefuls for that seat are Democrat Dennis Kampe, Independents Richard Carson and Jon T. Haugen along with Republicans Ann Rivers, Jon Russell, Brandon Vick and 18 year-old Anthony Bittner, just beginning a political career.

Since I don’t live in the 18th I really have no top choice, but by nearly all accounts, Ann Rivers stands out ahead of the rest as most likely to win.

We also see the seat in the 17th legislative district, won last election by Democrat Tim Probst challenged by Republican businessman, Brian Peck. Probst is one of those tricky Democrats who campaigned on promise of not voting for tax or spending increases and if you quickly look over his voting record, appears to have kept that promise. I say appears to because if you look closer, you will see that he doesn’t seem to support any alternative ideas put forth and voting no is easy when you know the spending measure will easily pass with the majority being so lopsided.

Then again, some bills he voted for would bring back door spending or tax increases, such as HB 1329, a bill that would have forced childcare centers to belong to a public union if they accepted state funds for low income families.

Peck, on the other hand, as operated a successful business that has won excellence awards 5 years in a row and knows the value of our hard earned tax dollars and how hard it is for us to earn them and support our families. Hands down, Peck would be my choice if I lived in the 17th.

The other seat in the 17th is open, being vacated by retiring Democrat, Deb Wallace. We see Republican Paul Harris, a businessman and former Evergreen school board member filing to run against Democrat Monica Stonier, a middle school teacher.

Both seats in the 49th legislative district currently held by Democrats Jim Moeller and Jim Jacks are being challenged this time. Moeller’s seat is challenged by another very successful businessman with a lot of experience in healthcare, Craig Riley. Jacks, who has proven the words he spoke in his 2008 campaign, “I don’t know how to fix it, I’m no tax expert” as very truthful, is facing Republican Bill Cismar, a Veteran with 3 decades experience in the high-tech field.

With how the Democrats have driven the state economy to the brink of ruin, both Jacks and Moeller voting to do so and since I’m in the 49th district, my choice here is easy to support both Cismar and Riley.

Moving down to more local races, we see County Commissioner Steve Stuart being challenged by Alan Svehaug, a Republican of varied experience, including contracting and teacher of chess and speed learning. Given the performance by Stuart, raising the ire of many in Clark County and having sat down and discussed with Svehaug his ideas on improving and restoring Clark County, Stuart just may see a tough challenge this time around.

A hint to fellow Clark County Commissioners Marc Boldt and Tom Mielke. Just because you’re Republican doesn’t mean your seat is safe in the next election. Both have not been acting all that “Republican” all too often.

Several in the community were upset over the appointment of Bart Hansen to replace Tim Leavitt, who was elected mayor, on the Vancouver City Council, with little or no citizen input heeded. I have watched Bart sitting on the council and his thin-skin and lack of knowledge of the civil rights opposition of the Democratic Party of old concerns me.

Challenging Hansen is John Jenkins and Jack King O’Neal III. O’Neal is a relative unknown, but Jenkins, 56, a retired information technology professional has ran for the seat before and shares many concerns with citizens on the cities purchase of the Columbian Building downtown for a new city hall as well as the council ignoring citizens on forcing light rail from Portland, Oregon upon us against our wishes.

For county assessor, three Republicans and one Democrat are vying to replace Democrat Linda Franklin, retiring due to medical reasons. David Horowitz, a retired certified public accountant, Daniel Weaver another retired CPA and certified appraiser Peter Van Nortwick. Janet Seekins, a Democrat currently with the County Appraisers office, threw her hat in the ring as well.

Given the problems seen in the County Appraisers Office in the last couple years, I think it is time for some new blood and I will be supporting Peter Van Nortwick.

Art Curtis, County Prosecutor is retiring this year so that seat is also up for grabs. Filing to run for the seat is Democrat Tony Golik, Independent George A. Kolin and Republican Brent Boger, of the City Attorney’s Office. As can be expected, Golik, a Democrat, enjoys Prosecutors Union support as he is currently in the Prosecutors Office, which would continue the current problems in the office should he be elected. Kolin is a private attorney from Washougal. I like Boger because he has some new ideas to make the Prosecutors Office more efficient and end some expensive frivolous prosecutions that shouldn’t even be brought to trial.

As you can see there are several races contested this time, only a few being uncontested. We have choices this time around and it is incumbent upon each of us to learn who these candidates are and work hard to elect who we think is the best suited.

We need to get away from just checking next to the familiar name and actually take part in our democratic process by knowing who we vote for and what they stand for.

Our forefathers left us this marvelous system of self governance and as shown above, we have choices this election.

Let’s do as they showed us and become familiar with the best candidates and actively exercise our choices. And, once elected, we must begin holding each and every one of them accountable.