All Politics is Local

Another look at the primary, and abysmal turnout

You remember the Aug. 1 primary. Or, maybe you don’t, because final results showed only 19.93 percent voted. That’s 47,595 voters out of 238,855 eligible. Consider yourself scolded. (Hey, I voted even though there was just a school board seat and sewer district race on my ballot.)

The results suggest that Vancouver voters may have made up their minds already on their next mayor and city council. Councilor and longtime community volunteer/activist Anne McEnerny-Ogle got nearly two-thirds of the final vote total in a five-way mayoral race; first runner up Steven Cox advances to the general election with a little less than 21 percent of the total.

Likewise, Vancouver council candidates Scott Campbell (the Waste Connection guy, not The Columbian’s publisher) and Linda Glover both captured more than half the votes in their races.

To make the November general election into a horse race, all of these challenges will need to make up considerable ground against people that have long association with the community and local leadership. But, it’s likely the voter turnout will be greater in November, even though a lot of people seem to have soured on politics this year.

The closer race may be in Washougal, where Julie Russell and Adam Philbin finished 120 votes apart for an open seat on the city council.

Ballots for the Nov. 7 general election don’t go out until Oct. 20, so there’s plenty of time for all of these candidates to campaign, raise funds and gain supporters.

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