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Eric Holt has an early, but narrow, lead in county chair race

Just over 1,200 votes separate Holt and Eileen Quiring with 45,000 remaining to be counted

CLARK COUNTY — The race to become only the second Clark County chair will be a tight one. At the end of election night, just over 1,200 votes separated the two candidates, with Democrat Eric Holt holding the early lead.

Eric Holt and Eileen Quiring are in a hotly contested race to become the next Clark County chair. Photos by Jacob Granneman and Chris Brown
Eric Holt and Eileen Quiring are in a hotly contested race to become the next Clark County chair. Photos by Jacob Granneman and Chris Brown

“I’m obviously cautiously optimistic,” Holt said from Warehouse 23 where he watched the results come in with the Young Democrats of Clark County. “With 50,000 more votes that could come in, still to be counted, this could still go really any direction.”

District 4 Councilor Eileen Quiring, who prefers the Republican Party,  did not make herself available for interviews on Tuesday night, and has not released a statement as of this time.

The Clark County Elections Department estimates some 45,000 votes are still to be counted, with new results due out Wednesday evening.

Either way, Holt says he’s encouraged by the early results.

“I’m very proud of the very positive race we ran,” he says. “We stayed focused on the benefits we’re going to bring to the county, rather than going negative. I really feel that that’s what the people of Clark County wanted.”

If Holt does hold on to win, it will represent a dramatic power shift on the five-member council. Temple Lentz, a Democrat, defeated incumbent District 1 Councilor Jeanne Stewart. Lentz was leading by more than 21 percentage points in the early returns.

Lentz and Holt both favor removing the moratorium on marijuana-related businesses in the unincorporated areas as one possible solution to the revenue issues facing the county. They may have enough votes to do it, if Holt can hold on to win. Quiring and Stewart have been two of the staunchest opponents on the council to ending the moratorium.

ClarkCountyToday.com has reached out to Councilor Quiring and will update this story if we hear back from the candidate.

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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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