THREE CANDIDATES DISCUSS THEIR QUALIFICATIONS AND PLANS IF APPOINTED
The Clark County Democrats hosted a special meeting on Friday, March 21st to start the process of replacing County Commissioner Steve Stuart who is resigning to take the City Manager’s job in Ridgefield.
Any Democrat living in District 3 meeting the requirements may throw their hat in the ring for consideration. A final list of three candidates ranked in order of preference will be sent to the two remaining commissioners for appointment within 60 days of Stuart’s resignation or the Governor will intervene.
CCDCC Chair Mike Heywood opened the meeting promptly at 7pm to a mostly filled room of Precinct Committee Officers and interested Democrats. Heywood called for all interested candidates to sit at the front of the room. No new candidates joined the three previously announced candidates, Craig Pridemore, Kelly Love Parker and Temple Lentz.
Each candidate spoke of their qualifications and why they’re interested in replacing Stuart. The appointment would expire at the end of the year with the seat open for election in August’s primary with top two vying in November's general election.
Former state senator and county commissioner Craig Pridemore talked about his experience and institutional knowledge allowing him to hit the ground running with a minimum learning curve required. Pridemore said his goals, if appointed, would be to focus on inclusiveness and transparency of county government operations. Pridemore said he would run for the position in August’s primary if appointed as Stuart’s replacement.
Kelly Love Parker, former TV news reporter and current CEO of the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce emphasized her support for Pridemore but believes a list of three strong candidates needs to be sent for consideration. Parker spoke of her experience with the Chamber of Commerce and experience working with many local elected officials and businesses in that role. Parker previously worked for Congressman Brian Baird and says she would run in the August primary if appointed to replace Stuart.
Current Freeholder and small business owner Temple Lentz said, if appointed, she would not run for the position as a candidate in the primary. Temple said she’d focus her energy on the position itself, and lend all of her support to a candidate who would be able to run full-time for the job without distraction. She expressed a concern that the caustic environment created by the two remaining commissioners, combined with the need to run an incredibly intense campaign, creates too much of a hurdle for a single candidate.
The meeting ended with all 3 candidates acknowledging each other’s strengths and willingness to step up for consideration in a very tough political environment. All three were concerned about the “brain drain” occurring in the County as many qualified and experienced staff members are leaving Clark County.
Clark County Democratic Precinct Committee Officers will rank the top three candidates at a special meeting to be held Friday, March 28th.
A more detailed overview of what to expect at Friday’s meeting will be online soon.