Eileen Quiring O’Brien resigns her position as chair of Clark County Council


Karen Dill Bowerman appointed to fill the position of county chair

Eileen Quiring O’Brien resigned her position as chair of the Clark County Council Wednesday morning during the weekly council time meeting. Councilor Karen Dill Bowerman was then named to replace Quiring O’Brien as chair and Councilor Gary Medvigy was elected as vice chair.

Eileen Quiring O’Brien
Eileen Quiring O’Brien

Quiring O’Brien’s role as chair of the County Council ended today (Feb. 2). However, she will remain as the council’s District 5 representative until March 1.

“This isn’t a spontaneous act,’’ Quiring O’Brien said when reached by Clark County Today. “I knew a couple of years ago I would not be running for reelection in 2022.’’

Quiring O’Brien was first elected to the County Council in 2016 and then as chair in 2018. Since that time, she has been married. The couple now plan to sell their Clark County home and move to North Carolina, where they also own a home.

“I promised we would move back to North Carolina once my term was over, things have obviously been expedited,’’ Quiring O’Brien said. “There are several circumstances that have been exasperating, not the least of which is the condition of this state. Our governor’s ridiculous mandates continue to be put on Washingtonians and people from Clark County. While I really appreciate and love Clark County and the people who have elected me, giving me the privilege and honor to represent them, I‘m not going to be sad to walk away from the conditions in this state. I watch other states who are thriving much better and their people are thriving. So, in that way, I think this move will be good.’’

Karen Dill Bowerman
Karen Dill Bowerman

Bowerman’s election to the council in November 2020 gave conservative Republicans a majority on the council. Quiring O’Brien said it has been a positive experience working under that dynamic.

“I’ve enjoyed working on the council and it’s been wonderful to have a majority so we could get things done,’’ she said.

Quiring O’Brien did say that acrimony among council members also led to her decision to expedite her decision to resign.

“Sometimes there is a lot of vitriol on the council and on social media from at least one member on the council,’’ she said. “It just doesn’t make for a pleasant environment in which to serve.’’

Quiring served as a member of the Oregon State Legislature earlier in her political career. She has also worked in the real estate industry and served previously on the Clark County Planning Commission.

Bowerman provided a statement to Clark County Today.

“I thank Chair Quiring O’Brien for nominating me to the chair position, and I thank the Council for their unanimous vote of confidence for my service as chair,’’ she wrote. “Most of all, I wish to acknowledge the difficult long-term decision that our chair and her family have made in deciding to move out of state given that our chair has been in the Great Northwest since age two!  

“As a colleague, Eileen has been the best, always ready to work hard toward conservative principles and toward her campaign promises for economic development to create an economic engine for Clark County,’’ Bowerman added. “Her dedication to the people of Clark County is unparalleled, and I shall miss Eileen greatly.’’

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