Write-in candidate Barry McDonnell ousts Shannon Turk as Camas mayor

McDonnell received more than 52 percent of the vote; Turk received 41 percent

It appears the proposed Camas pool bond has cost Mayor Shannon Turk her position with the city.

The Clark County Elections Department released results of the Camas mayoral race Tuesday. Write-in candidate Barry McDonnell has 52.74 percent of the vote and Turk has 41.01 percent. Current Council Member Melissa Smith, also a write-in candidate, received 6.24 percent.

Camas resident Barry McDonnell (left) and Camas Mayor Shannon Turk appeared together at a debate last month. McDonnell’s write-in campaign to unseat Turk appears to have succeeded as results of the Nov. 5 general election show he received 52.74 percent of the vote. Turk received 41.01 percent. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Camas resident Barry McDonnell (left) and Camas Mayor Shannon Turk appeared together at a debate last month. McDonnell’s write-in campaign to unseat Turk appears to have succeeded as results of the Nov. 5 general election show he received 52.74 percent of the vote. Turk received 41.01 percent. Photo by Jacob Granneman

McDonnell didn’t even file as a write-in candidate until Oct. 2. He was a member of the vocal opposition to the $78 million Proposition 2 on the Nov. 5 general election ballot. Proposition 2 failed, with nearly 90 percent of the voters casting their ballots in opposition.

Turk worked with Camas City Manager Peter Capell on the proposed pool bond and members of the Camas City Council approved placing it on the general election ballot.

McDonnell’s platform centered around what he said was a lack of transparency of the current Camas leadership, as well as the overwhelming controversy surrounding Proposition 2, which McDonnell strongly opposed. McDonnell, obviously, became a favorite of the opponents of the pool bond.

“I was excited. I was thrilled. I was humbled. All of those things,’’ McDonnell said when contacted by Clark County Today after the election results were released. “I think there is definitely a change taking place here in Camas and I’m excited to lead this new way and really represent the voice of the citizens.’’

When asked to characterize the change taking place in Camas, McDonnell said, “I think people are involved more than they’ve ever been before and people think they can be part of the change.’’

When contacted by Clark County Today, Turk said her reaction to the election results was “one of immediate acceptance. It finally brings closure. We can finish this election and we can move forward as a community.’’

Turk also stated the obvious in regard to how Proposition 2 impacted the write-in campaigns in her race.

“There is little doubt that this wasn’t the correct bond proposal that the community wanted,’’ Turk said. “I still stand behind putting the bond on the ballot. I’m not exactly sure why the community was so upset we put a bond on the ballot when they could just say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ I’m completely clear that the write-in campaigns were driven by the bond.’’

Turk did admit that there could have been things done differently during the bond process.

“There are so many things we could have done differently,’’ Turk said. “I’ve been second guessing it for months. I think the primary thing we could have done different is when we finally had costs associated with the project, we should have ran them through an open house and we didn’t do that. We did have an open house but not after the costs were associated with it.’’

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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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