Commissioners Finally Act
The Clark County Commissioners today appointed local labor leader and community activist Ed Barnes to represent District 3 as Steve Stuart's replacement for the remainder of 2014. After much delay and only six days short of the deadline mandated by the Washington state constitution, sitting commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke, both Republicans, appointed Barnes from a list of three names previously submitted by the Clark County Democratic Central Committee which included the top ranked choice former commissioner Craig Pridemore and Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce CEO Kelly Love Parker.
Upon hearing of Barnes' appointment Clark County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Mike Heywood said "Ed Barnes is a distinguished citizen with a long record of public service. He will be an excellent county commissioner during his months of service. That does not, however, obscure the reality that the two incumbent commissioners violated tradition and respect for process by overlooking the nomination of Craig Pridemore by the Clark County Democratic Central Committee as the preferred candidate. Commissioner David Madore makes frequent and often pious reference to the expressed will of voters. He did just the opposite in this case."
The two commissioners had sixty days from Stuart's resignation to appoint a Democrat from the list of three names submitted in April. The last time two members of an opposing party were in the same situation, the Democrats appointed the Republican's first choice Jaime Herrera-Buetler to the 18th LD Rep seat vacated by Richard Curtis. This had been the long standing tradition regardless of what party was in the majority until today's decision by Madore and Mielke.
Craig Pridemore has filed to run for the seat and will face off against former Vancouver City Council member Jeanne Stewart in the August primary and November general election.