The invisible Vancouver City Council candidate

If Kathleen Metzger hadn’t filed for Vancouver City Council position 5, there wouldn’t need to be a primary race for the seat. Two other candidates, Ty Stober and Linda Glover, also filed for the position 5, which Councilor Larry Smith is vacating at the end of the year.

Running for City Council in a city of nearly 170,000 people and getting your message out isn’t easy or cheap. One would assume entering the political fray is a decision that requires a good deal of soul-searching, and that once you’ve made it, you’ll tackle your campaign whole hog.

This week, Stober said being listed on the primary election ballot “basically doubles the cost of running this campaign. I’ve got to raise all this money to get to the primary and then do it again.”

Metzger filed for position 5 two minutes before the filing week deadline May 15. When a reporter contacted her that evening to ask about her campaign platform, Metzger said it was still being developed but that she looked forward to “running a good campaign and bringing issues to light that probably aren’t being talked about a lot.”

If a “good campaign” means shunning free newspaper coverage, not putting up campaign signs and not responding to an invitation to the upcoming League of Women Voters forum, Metzger is running the best campaign ever.

Stober and Glover have been aggressively fundraising. They’ve put up campaign signs, attended a July 1 editorial board meeting at The Columbian, talked to reporters and committed to attending the League of Women Voters forum July 16 at the Vancouver library.

Metzger declined this week to provide The Columbian even with her basic information, such as political experience, occupation and education, saying she would get her message out using “other avenues.”

What we know about Metzger: She is a former Republican precinct committee officer for Precinct 150 and legislative district chair for the 49th District. She’s married and homeschools her seven children, according to a statement she posted online in 2012 when running for precinct committee officer.

Now she wants to be on the City Council but hasn’t said why.

Perhaps there’s a compelling, yet-to-be revealed purpose to waiting til the last second to file for office without a campaign platform and then refusing to participate in the typical public election process. I can’t wait to find out what it is – and see how it resonates with voters next month.

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