Election 2020: County Councilor John Blom ousted from race in top-two primary

Incumbent councilor fails to advance to November general election; Republican Karen Bowerman and Democrat Jesse James will faceoff for seat on Clark County Council

It appears Clark County Councilor John Blom will not be returning to the Clark County Council next year. Blom finished third in the race for the District 3 seat on the County Council. Republican Karen Bowerman and Democrat Jesse James will faceoff for the position on the council in the November general election.

Area voters were still turning in their ballots just before Tuesday’s 8 p.m. deadline, including this voter near Vancouver Mall, where there was a long line at the ballot box. Photo by Andi Schwartz
Area voters were still turning in their ballots just before Tuesday’s 8 p.m. deadline, including this voter near Vancouver Mall, where there was a long line at the ballot box. Photo by Andi Schwartz

Bowerman, who filed as a candidate after Blom, who was previously elected as a Republican, filed as an Independent. Bowerman received 43.16 percent (8,237) of the votes in the first report of primary results Tuesday night. James received 34.08 percent (6,503) and Blom received 22.76 percent (4,343).

A total of 94,291 votes were represented in the first report of results, or 31.06 percent of Clark County’s 303,600 registered voters. As of Tuesday morning, 29.48 percent of the county’s registered voters had turned in their ballots, including 24,244 on Monday alone. Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey told Clark County Today Tuesday night that he estimates there are about 30,000 ballots remaining to be counted.

In addition to the decision to change his party preference, Blom was the subject of an ethics complaint filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission by Eric Temple, the president of the Portland-Vancouver Junction Railroad (PVJR). Temple alleged that Blom issued threats against his business over a campaign contribution made by PVJR to the Clark County Republican Party. Blom stated the allegations were “100 percent false.’’ On Thursday, the PDC dismissed the complaint.

“Needless to say I’m very pleased with the results and humbled by the outcome,” Bowerman told Clark County Today. “The result is not different from what I predicted for the one reason that my positions on issues were made perfectly clear during the campaign, and I believe that they aligned with our voters’ priorities.”

In another high profile race in Tuesday’s primary election, it appears Sen. Ann Rivers will advance to challenge for re-election to the Washington State Senate in the 18th District. Rivers was one of two Republicans vying for the seat. Democrat Rick Bell garnered 41.16 percent (13,749) of the votes to advance to the November general election where he will likely face Rivers, who received 31.67 percent (10,579). Camas resident John Ley received 27.17 percent (9,075).

In the 49th District Position 1 race for state representative, incumbent Democrat Sharon Wylie will advance to the general election. Wylie, who received 58.84 percent (15,387) of the votes, will meet Republican Justin Forsman, who received 30.52 percent (7,980). Kelli Fiskum received 10.65 percent (2,784).

Also in the 49th District, in the race for state representative Position 2, incumbent Democrat Monica Stonier will advance to the general election after receiving 61.71 percent (15,910) of the votes. She will face Republican Park Llafet, who received 31.81 percent (8,202). Troy Potter was eliminated after receiving 6.48 percent (1,671).

For a complete report on Tuesday’s initial election results, go to https://www.clark.wa.gov/elections/august-4-2020-primary-and-special-election

Clark County Today will continue to follow with more reports on the Aug. 4 primary election.

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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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