Clark County Republican PCO’s nominate three for vacant county seat

John Ley, Brook Pell and Gary Medvigy will now seek appointment from Clark County councilors

VANCOUVER — The Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) Precinct Committee Officers (PCO’s) selected three candidates from a group of 11 applicants Tuesday night for the vacant District 4 seat on the Clark County Council.

The Clark County Republican Party Precinct Committee Officers selected three candidates from a group of 11 applicants Tuesday night for the vacant District 4 seat on the Clark County Council. Shown here (left-to-right) are the candidates nominated, Gary Medvigy, Brook Pell and John Ley. Photo courtesy of Liz Cline
The Clark County Republican Party Precinct Committee Officers selected three candidates from a group of 11 applicants Tuesday night for the vacant District 4 seat on the Clark County Council. Shown here (left-to-right) are the candidates nominated, Gary Medvigy, Brook Pell and John Ley. Photo courtesy of Liz Cline

The District 4 seat became vacant on Jan. 1 when Eileen Quiring moved to the position of county chair. Quiring and her fellow councilors will select between John Ley, Brook Pell and Gary Medvigy to fill the vacant seat.

The names of the three individuals will now be forwarded to the Clark County Council. The current councilors will review the nominees, conduct interviews in an open public session and appoint one of the three to the office of Clark County Council District 4.

A total of 117 PCO’s attended Tuesday’s meeting in the Senior Center Auditorium at the Marshall Community Center. Two ballots were needed to determine the three candidates to be nominated.

On the first ballot, Ley was the only candidate to receive a majority of the votes. Ley received 61 votes, followed by Medvigy (58), Pell (53), Greg Boynton (42), Shane Bowman (41), Tom Mielke (32), Dick Rylander Jr., (32), Chuck Miller (12), Herb Maxey (11), David Knight (8) and Thomas Schenk (4).

Ley’s name was then crossed off the second ballot as were the names of Miller, Maxey, Knight and Schenk, who each pulled their names from consideration after the first ballot.

On the second ballot, both Pell (63 votes) and Medvigy (59) received a majority of the votes. Rylander received 31 votes on the second ballot followed by Bowman (30), Mielke (25) and Boynton (21).

Here’s a closer look at the three candidates nominated for the District 4 seat:

John Ley

Ley, a Camas resident, has been a resident in Clark County since 1991. He served in the United States Air Force for 11 and ½ years as a public affairs officer and then as a KC-135 pilot. Ley is currently a captain for Delta Air Lines.

Ley describes himself as an advocate for responsible and responsive government.

“Many of you know me because of my joining the fight against the Columbia River Crossing debacle,’’ Ley told the 117 PCO’s who gathered for Tuesday’s meeting.

The Camas resident has continued his fight against an I-5 Bridge replacement project and Oregon’s effort to toll drivers on I-5 and I-205. Instead, he prefers that lawmakers and elected officials focus on a third and even a fourth crossing over the Columbia River to provide additional lane capacity that will relieve traffic congestion.

“Even more atrocious than the CRC is Oregon’s effort to toll the highways we use to travel into Oregon,’’ Ley said.

“I’m the kind of guy who loves digging into the details,’’ Ley said.

Ley summarized his priorities if he is appointed to fill the vacant council seat.

“Tolling is No. 1,’’ said Ley, referring to his fight against Oregon’s efforts. Ley went on to list the effort to build a third crossing as his second priority.

“Looking ahead, we need conservative leadership in fighting for common sense transportation solutions including a third and fourth bridge across the Columbia River,’’ Ley told ClarkCountyToday.com.

His third priority would be to “stand up for private property rights.’’

“We need to fight for rural landowner property rights, including modifications to the Growth Management Act that respects rural property owner’s rights,’’ he said.

In general, Ley told ClarkCountyToday.com that “government needs to respond in a way that actually serves the people, respecting their liberties and property rights, and spending their tax dollars in a much more conservative manner.’’

For more information, go to www.johnley.us .

Brook Pell

Pell grew up in Washougal and now lives in Camas. She is the chief operating officer for a family owned construction company that builds residential and commercial steel buildings.

Pell’s priorities are policies “that attract job creators to Clark County, transportation solutions that are supported by the taxpayers, lean and efficient government, policies that respect the rights of urban and rural land owners, good roads, adequate funding for law enforcement and infrastructure to support growth.’’

“Clark County is growing and along with that comes the challenge of providing the services that citizens need and want,’’ she said. “As a small business owner, I know from experience how decisions made by government can negatively impact the economy or encourage prosperity. When I hear that people are forced to sell their homes due to higher property tax, I know we need a better solution. Focusing on what matters most to the people in Clark County is my pledge to the voters.”

Pell told those gathered at Tuesday’s meeting that she would “work hard to protect tax dollars and protect individual property rights.’’

“The tax burden has become crippling to many local residents,’’ Pell believes. “There’s a problem when families are forced to sell their homes because they can’t afford our local property taxes. Clark County borders a state that has no sales tax, which hurts our local businesses. This also creates a tax leak that causes revenue shortfalls when it comes time to craft a county budget.’’

Like Ley, Pell favors new crossings over the Columbia River before a replacement to the I-5 Bridge.

“Clark County residents experience worsening traffic congestion every day,’’ she said. “The Glenn Jackson I-205 Bridge was completed nearly 40 years ago. It’s unacceptable there are still only two bridges that serve our growing region. Replacing the I-5 Bridge is not going to relieve congestion. New corridors are needed on the east and west sides of our county.’’

Pell also said she will encourage lawmakers to reform the Growth Management Act.

“Much of our area’s land use challenges are a result of the outdated GMA,’’ she said.

Pell has already announced her candidacy for the District 4 seat in the November general election.

For more information, go to www.electbrookpell.com .

Gary Medvigy

Medvigy, a Camas resident, described himself at Tuesday’s meeting as a “solid Republican for the past 45 years.’’ He also professed to be a supporter of President Donald Trump, who he referred to as a “solid reformer.’’

Medvigy is a retired general officer for the U.S. Military and was a Superior Court judge for the state of California for nine years before retiring in 2016. In all, Medvigy served 24 years as a prosecutor, to include six years in the Army and 19 years as a deputy district attorney.

His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, four Legion of Merit medals, Bronze Star, four Meritorious Service Medals and as well as other honors and medals.

Medvigy is also a volunteer pilot for the nonprofit Angel Flight. He has flown and financed flights across the West Coast for individuals unable to afford or obtain advanced medical treatment in their local hospitals.

“I bring over 33 years of leadership experience, an extensive background as chief executive officer level military and interagency planning, innovative problem solving, and a life-long passion for public service,’’ he said.

Medvigy said that his experience in Clark County has revealed to him that “the big tent Ronald Reagan talked about is alive and well here.’’ He describes Democrats as having an “elitist Socialist voice.’’ He also professed to be an advocate for smaller government.

“Government in America should never be viewed as a growth industry,’’ he told the crowd at Tuesday’s meeting. “The will of Clark County (residents) must be respected. We need an expressive Republican voice.’’

For more information on Medvigy, go to www.linkedin.com/in/garymedvigy .

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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