Washington’s Nov. 7 general election covers local races for school board, city council, and special districts. Although odd-year elections are sometimes considered low-stakes races that draw low voter turnout, the offices up for contest this year influence policy and budgets in the communities union members live and work in. Union voters can make a difference by electing candidates who will side with working people and pass pro-labor measures.
If a candidate is listed in bold, they’ve received the endorsement of at least one labor organization. To keep the list short, union-endorsed candidates who are running unopposed are not listed, nor are contested races in which neither candidate received a union endorsement.
Following each candidate name is a list of union endorsers and a link to the campaign website, if they have one. (Acronyms are listed in a legend at the bottom.)
DON’T FORGET: To be counted, ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday Nov. 7 or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. Nov. 7
City Council, Position 5
Keenan Harvey, incumbent, is a commercial insurance specialist who was elected to the council in November 2019. *CWCLC recommends Harvey but did not formally endorse his campaign. An endorsement from the council recognizes active support for labor, while a recommendation recognizes candidates who have generally supported labor.
City Council, Position 1
Mike Wallin, a three-term incumbent, is a real estate broker with Keller Williams Premier Partners. ElectMikeWallin.com CWCLC, LKBTC, LiUNA 335
City Council, Position 2
Ramona Leber served on the Longview council from 1992 to 2007. She was the city’s first female mayor. After leaving the council, she joined the city’s planning commission, where she’s served four consecutive four-year terms. *CWCLC recommends Leber but did not formally endorse her campaign.
City Council, Position 6
Sarah J. Fox, the incumbent, previously served as president of the Camas Public Employees Association, a union representing administrative, public workers, community development, information technology, finance, police, fire, and parks and recreation workers at the City of Camas. SarahFoxCityCouncil.com SWWACLC, IAFF 452, LIUNA 335, VPOG
Lisa Brown faces incumbent Nadine Woodward. Brown served in the Washington state legislature from 1993 to 2012. LisaBrownForMayor.com LIUNA 335
Longview School District
The challengers in three school board races are running as a pro-charter school slate. They want to make the Longview School District an approved charter school authorizer, meaning it could establish and partially fund a charter school within the district.
Don Wiitala, incumbent, is a retired educator who worked both as a classroom teacher and a high school principal. He’s served six years on the school board, including three as president. LEA
Barb Westrick, incumbent, is a retired preschool teacher who has served multiple terms on the school board. LEA
Jennifer E. Leach, incumbent, has served on the school board more than 20 years. She currently works for the Washington State University Extension 4-H Program and has a long background working or volunteering for youth development programs. Re-electJenniferLeach.com LEA
Vancouver School District
Kathy Decker, incumbent, is a retired teacher who taught in three states and Japan. Her resume includes time teaching in Vancouver schools, and her three children have all attended the local school district. KathyDecker4ourschools.com SWWACLC, SEIU 925, LiUNA 335
Tracie Barrows, incumbent, works as a school psychologist in the Evergreen School District, where she and her husband are members of the Evergreen Education Association. TracieBarrowsForVPS.com SWWCLC, VEA, VAESP, SEIU 925, LIUNA 335
Clark-Cowlitz Fire and Rescue District
Commissioner, Position 2
Brigid Taylor, a union teacher in the Ridgefield School District and wife of a Clark Co. Fire District 6 firefighter, is challenging incumbent Jade Bourke. btaylor4firecommissioner.nationbuilder.com SWWACLC, IAFF 452, IAFF 3674
Clark County Fire District No. 5
Commissioner, Position 1
Mike Lyons, incumbent, is a retired fire captain from the Vancouver Fire Department. He has served on the board of commissioners since 2000. IAFF 452
Port of Vancouver
Don Orange, incumbent, is a small business owner who was elected to the port commission in 2017. VoteDonOrange.com IAFF 452, ILWU 40
- CWCLC Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council
- IAFF Fire Fighters
- ILWU Longshore Workers
- LEA Longview Education Association
- LiUNA Laborers
- LKBTC Longview/Kelso Building Trades Council
- SEIU Service Employees
- SWWCLC Southwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
- VAESP Vancouver Association of Education Support Professionals
- VEA Vancouver Education Association
- VPOG Vancouver Police Officers Guild