On city council fundraising, Glen and Perez lead the pack
Two incumbent Vancouver city councilors aren’t seeking reelection this year. The announcements from Linda Glover and Laurie Lebowsky last month sparked several early challengers for the soon-to-be open seats, and also kicked off an early start to 2021 fundraising.
Currently leading the fundraising pack is Glen Yung, who’s seeking the Position 3 spot held by Glover. He’s raised $22,241, and also leads the pack of candidates on spending with $8,049 dropped on his campaign so far.
Yung, a construction contractor and chair of the Hough Neighborhood Association, saw an early campaign shakeup when former Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard issued an endorsement of Yung’s candidacy and then promptly retracted it a few days later. Pollard declined to comment on why and posted an all-caps Facebook post about his decision.
“PLEASE DON’t SPECULATE OR ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS! I WISH HIM WELL ON HIS CAMPAIGN!” Pollard wrote.
According to Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission, Yung’s notable donors include GOP former state Rep. Liz Pike ($200) and Kate Fernald ($250), who’s spearheading the neighborhood pushback against the city’s oft-debated plan to develop its sleepy Heights District.
The second-highest fundraiser is Diana Perez, who’s also seeking Glover’s seat. Perez has sought city council seats twice before — and both times got pretty close. In 2019, she made it to the final round of a council appointment process but didn’t get the seat. Later that year, she was just barely edged out of the general election in a 7-person primary, coming in third.
Perez has raised $10,960 since declaring her campaign on March 10, and spent $565. Her donor list includes current City Councilors Ty Stober ($250) and Lebowsky ($100), as well as Port of Vancouver Commissioner Jack Burkman ($125), former Commissioner Don Orange ($100) and local environmental activist Don Steinke ($100).
John Blom, the former Clark County Commissioner, has raised $8,122 and spent $1,975 so far in his bid for Lebowsky’s current seat. Blom lost his reelection to the Clark County Commission last year after he dropped his Republican affiliation — county leadership should be nonpartisan, he said, much like the city council. Voters didn’t agree, and his two partisan challengers bumped him out of the primary election.
Blom’s city council donations got a major boost from the Nierenbergs, a wealthy Camas family that consistently donates to political campaigns ($1,000 each from both David and Patricia Nierenberg and their company, Nierenberg Investments).
Kim Harless Felix, a program director for a nonprofit also seeking Lebowsky’s seat, raised $3,845 and spent $219 so far this year.
Harless Feliz also serves as co-chair of the Clark County Charter Review Commission. Her donors include Battle Ground City Councilor Mike Dalesandro ($50) and Battle Ground Mayor Adrian Cortes ($25).
A few other city council hopefuls haven’t filed any contributions with the PDC: Former Clark County Republican Chair David Gellatly (seeking Glover’s seat), and Clark County Young Democrats President Mike Pond (Lebowsky’s seat) both report $0 balances.
Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, who’s running unopposed, has raised $17,656 and spent $3,091. Her donors include Vancouver firefighters union IAFF Local 452 ($2,000), Burkman ($250), Lebowsky ($250) and Gellatly ($100).