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VIDEO: Clark County Chair Candidate Eileen Quiring interview

The current District 4 councilor and county chair candidate talks with reporter Chris Brown ahead of the November election

CLARK COUNTY — The race to become the next chair of the Clark County Council is likely to be a close one. Incumbent Marc Boldt finished third in the August primary, meaning that he is not on the ballot for the November election.

Instead, voters will get to choose between Eileen Quiring, a strongly conservative Republican who has represented the county’s 4th District since 2016, and Eric Holt, a relative political newcomer who most recently lost a bid against Sen. Ann Rivers for the state’s 18th Legislative District. Holt also served as a delegate for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in his presidential election bid.

Clark County Chair Candidate Eileen Quiring sits down with ClarkCountyToday.com for an interview ahead of the general election. Photo by Mike Schultz
Clark County Chair Candidate Eileen Quiring sits down with ClarkCountyToday.com for an interview ahead of the general election. Photo by Mike Schultz

Quiring grew up in Clark County, graduating from Battle Ground High School before attending George Fox University. She moved to North Carolina with her then-husband, but came back to the Northwest in the early 90’s, moving to Bend, Ore. Quiring eventually served six years in the Oregon legislature, two as a state representative, and four as a senator during which she rose to the rank of majority whip. During that time she served alongside Kate Brown, then a senator and now the incumbent governor of Oregon. Quiring says if Brown is re-elected next month, she hopes their working relationship can lead to constructive conversations around the future replacement of the I-5 Bridge, especially when it comes to the controversial topic of whether light rail into Vancouver should be included as part of the project.

Quiring moved back to Clark County in 2009, she says, to be closer to her daughter and other family members. In 2012, she joined the county’s Planning Commission, on which she served until being elected to the Clark County Council, 4th District position, in 2016.

The county chair position is the only at-large seat in the recently adopted Home Rule Charter form of government. Quiring admits she was initially opposed to the change from a three-member commission, but has since warmed to the five-member council form of government with a stronger county manager.

Quiring has a voting record that is decidedly conservative, and a penchant for saying exactly what she thinks. The position county chair speaks for the council, helps set the agenda, and needs to work well with the other council members. Quiring believes she has proven that she is open to new ideas, and willing to change her own views based on facts. She has stood staunchly against adding light rail to a new I-5 Bridge, but says she grudgingly accepts that a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit lane may be required in order to secure Federal funding for the project.

Quiring was the lone no vote when the council recently decided to implement a one percent property tax increase allowed under state law. The council had declined to take the increases for several years. Quiring says revenue in the county is actually up, and she would like to see better budgeting before people are charged more.

Quiring has also been an advocate for job growth and creation in the county, including support for Freight Rail Dependent industrial uses along part of the county-owned Chelatchie Prairie rail line. That plan is now on the back burner as neighbors reacted with concern, and Quiring says she’s hopeful that they can find a way to bring jobs to that area without impacting the residents’ quality of life.

You can visit Quiring’s campaign page here: http://www.electeileenq.org

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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