In the months before the August primary, there were rumors that Roman Battan, who was the lone Democrat in a four-person race for Clark County commissioner, was a plant for the Republican party.
The theory was that since ultra conservative Republican David Madore was running against the incumbent, Republican Marc Boldt, the Republicans had recruited Battan to run as a Democrat to take potential votes away from Boldt in the districtwide primary. Then, the theory continued, since Madore has more name familiarity he would beat Battan in November.
(The fourth candidate, former Vancouver City Councilor Pat Campbell, ran as an independent.)
Battan, 31, had heard the rumors, and denied them when I interviewed him.
Battan finished third in the primary, behind Madore and Boldt, who will run countywide in November.
But the speculation about Battan’s political allegiance hasn’t died down, particularly when he showed up Sept. 5 to the Clark County Republican Party’s “Road To Success Social and Dinner” at the Heathman Lodge.
According to the GOP’s website, the $40-per-person dinner was going to be about how “thoughtful conservatives are paving the way to the finish line!”
I was emailed this photo of Battan, taken on a cell phone. (He’s just behind the flag, the guy in the white shirt with the stubble.)
I emailed Battan, asking why he would attend a Republican fundraising event.
Here’s his answer:
Thanks for getting in touch and I’m happy to comment. To answer your question, I am a Democrat and I absolutely ran for Commissioner on my own accord. Rumors are just that…rumors.
I attended the dinner strictly for business and not for political purposes. In fact, I’m sure I was the most unpopular guy in the room with the exception of three people I knew personally. A good client sponsored a table asked me to attend in order to meet some of his partners and important business contacts. I was a businessman before I ran for office and now I must move forward now that I’m out of the race.
I did not purchase a ticket, nor did I make any contributions to candidates. My contributions and support has been behind Democratic candidates here in Clark County and at the state level. I am currently volunteering my time with the Jim Gizzi campaign in the 17th Legislative District and will be participating in volunteer events in support of Jay Inslee for governor.
Thanks for getting in touch and for letting me clear this up. Give me a call if you have any other questions.