Orange wins port commissioner position

Self-described “populist” candidate victor in election

VANCOUVER — The race for Vancouver Port Commissioner for District 1 concluded with local businessman Don Orange as the winner, defeating his opponent Kris Greene.

Don Orange won the position of commissioner for District 1 in Vancouver, and said the support of the people for his platform “moved my heart.” Photo by Mike Schultz
Don Orange won the position of commissioner for District 1 in Vancouver, and said the support of the people for his platform “moved my heart.” Photo by Mike Schultz

As of the evening of Nov. 8, 45,904 votes for the race had been received, and 64.29 percent were cast in favor of Orange.

The race has revolved around issues concerning the construction of an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver, and Orange has come out in the past strongly against allowing the terminal to be built.

Orange characterized his campaign as “grassroots” and “populist.” In such a race, he said that usually the candidate with the largest amount of money wins, but that sometimes, if the grassroots movement is strong enough, money is not the deciding factor.

Kris Greene was defeated by a wide margin by Don Orange in the race for Vancouver port commissioner from District 1. Photo by Mike Schultz
Kris Greene was defeated by a wide margin by Don Orange in the race for Vancouver port commissioner from District 1. Photo by Mike Schultz

“I believe that the people of Vancouver have a deep love and caring for our river, for our city,” Orange said.

With the question of the oil terminal a major point in the race, Orange said that “we are not going to endanger the Columbia River.”

He said that he hopes to create 21st century jobs that are sustainable and that prevent Washington residents from having to travel to Portland for work.

“This is a choice between going backwards or forwards,” Orange explained.

According to Orange, Vancouver can still thrive as an economic center without an oil terminal. It is a major port for grain transport, and facilities can be developed and expanded to support roll-on, roll-off freight.

“If we use it, we use it well, we cut down on the people that go to Portland for work,” Orange said.

Orange attributes his victory in part to the efforts of his supporters and campaign volunteers. According to Orange, 230 people volunteered for his campaign and worked “telling the story, and I think the people of Vancouver responded to it.”

“This really moved my heart,” Orange said, and explained that his victory showed peoples’ concern for the future of both the city of Vancouver and the Columbia River.

Orange’s opponent, Kris Greene, could not be reached for comment.

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About The Author

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Alex Peru is a 2017 graduate of Washington State University Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and a double minor in Political Science and Business Administration. Peru grew up in Battle Ground, and graduated from CAM Academy in 2013. He worked for The VanCougar, WSU Vancouver’s campus newspaper, for three years, including one year as the editor-in-chief. When not working, Peru enjoys reading books about history, working on cars and enjoying the outdoors in Clark County’s beautiful rivers, lakes and forests.

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