With the announcement of Tom Mielke not running for another term as Clark County Councilor for District 4, three citizens have stepped up to vie for that seat and represent citizens of Clark County as we still work out the bugs on the recently adopted Home rule Charter.
Although I have strived to remain out of campaigns the last couple elections, several people have requested I reengage in assessing candidates running for office and given the egregious behavior of District 3 incumbent Councilor Madore, both on the Council and towards me personally, I feel compelled to add my two cents in this year’s election.
I previously endorsed John Blom for District 3, having seen that the incumbent David Madore has not acted in the best interest of the County and has only sought deeper divisions as well as attempting to bully the majority of the Council from his minority status. His behavior must not be rewarded.
Given that; I will give my personal assessment of each and endorsement below.
Roman Battan (D)
Roman Battan is the only Democrat to step forward in this race. He ran once before for a seat on the then County Commission, as the Council was known as before the adoption of the Home Rule Charter. He was eliminated in the August 2012 primary, coming in a close third to then incumbent Marc Boldt (R) and eventual winner, David Madore (R).
He rightfully claims on his “Priorities” page, “With our new charter in full effect, this is the first time citizens in East County will elect a representative to give them a voice on the county council.” However, his Liberal / Progressive stand on issues might not resonate very well in the largely more rural / conservative District 4.
Although not a current issue, but one that might be back on the table in the future, Battan did support both the Columbia River Crossing light rail project and light rail itself in 2012. On tolls that were a major issue back then, He claimed to see them as “necessary but only if a sunset provision is applied.”
Roman has a decent business background, proclaiming an “Associate’s Degree in Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance” as well as owning a small media and software production company. I see no mention of any previous political experience listed on his campaign page as was also noted in his 2012 campaign in the Reflector.
However, to me personally, his claim of being “bi-racial” and mention of his fathers’ union membership is somewhat of a put-off as neither has anything to do with his ability to adequately represent citizens, should he advance and win in November.
His Priorities Page seems to come across as somewhat vague and short on information, so far. Hopefully in the future weeks he will be more forthcoming on relevant issues currently affecting our county.
Eileen Quiring (R)
Eileen Quiring is a familiar face as well having run unsuccessfully in 2012 for the 49th Legislative District Senate seat won by Democrat, Annette Cleveland. Eileen, who ran under the name Qutub then, lost by a considerable margin, not surprising considering Republicans stand little chance in the strong Democrat 49th. Other than a single term from 2000 to 2004, Democrats have held the Senate seat in the 49th for decades.
According to her Bio, she has multiple terms holding office in Oregon back in the 1990’s. Her latest political experience in Clark County is a 2012 appointment to the Planning Commission and a 2015 appointment to the Board of Equalization, a seat recently lost due to claims of an appearance of a potential conflict of interest.
She has also recently come under fire for what appears to be improper use of a School Band at a campaign fundraiser, drawing PDC complaints as it is against state law to do so.
She has since publicly apologized for the oversight and I suspect the Public Disclosure Commission will likely do little more than advise her to not repeat such an act, given it was not a deliberate act.
Eileen has strong conservative credentials, but her alliance with controversial incumbent David Madore is likely going to hurt her more in the South end of District 4 where the bulk of voters reside.
Her claim on her issues page of “I will work to implement meaningful changes so that we no longer have to turn away new businesses who want to locate here” falls flat as I am unaware of any businesses desiring to locate to Clark County being turned away. Quite the opposite is what we have read both in the local newspaper and from Councilor Madore as he has continuously claimed that Clark County is “the most business friendly” County in the state and frequently touting job growth from businesses, even though they lie mostly within city borders in the County as proof of his efforts working.
Even though her political experience is not current, being mostly years ago from Oregon, her conservative view may very well propel her into the General Election.
Jennifer McDaniel (R)
Jennifer McDaniel comes to this race with by far the most current and up to date political experience, having won her seat on the Washougal City Council three times in a row since her initial win 2008.
Additionally, her Bio page list extensive community involvement beyond her being on the Washougal City Council an she lists very direct ideas on her Solutions page.
She also carries the distinction of being wrongfully maligned by Councilor Madore with his bogus claim of she is suing citizens. The truth is that the C-Tran Board of Directors counter sued a small group for their frivolous suit that was dismissed prior to her being named to the Board. By the time the Board counter sued, she had joined the Board so it is only natural that she be named as a member of the Board counter suing.
It is completely untrue, as Madore asserts that she individually is suing citizens.
She was instrumental in 2013 to the passage of a resolution by the Washougal City Council to oppose the CRC in 2013.
In comparing the three candidates it becomes obvious that Jennifer McDaniel stands alone as the one with the most current experience needed to fill the seat Tom Mielke is retiring from.
Unlike David Madore she is eager to work with the rest of the Council for the betterment of Clark County and not just a small agenda driven group.
Given her experience and expressed solutions I would think she will be well received throughout District 4.
I gladly and wholeheartedly add my name to the growing list of citizens and elected officials endorsing Jennifer McDaniel for Clark County Council, District 4.
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