The man who has been the 18th District’s state senator for 17 years has decided not to run for another term.
Just minutes after the deadline had passed to mark the end of filing week, Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, ranking Republican on the Senate Ways & Means Committee, officially announced that he would not seek re-election.
“As the Bible tells us ‘to every thing there is a season.’ It’s time for my season as a senator to end,” Zarelli said in a statement issued Friday evening. “I will move forward with no regrets, only a lot of fond memories, many strong friendships and the hope that I’ve left state government better than how I found it.”
Zarelli, a Navy veteran, is president of JP Zarelli,Inc., a small business specializing in business development and risk management services.
He became a senator in 1995 and won election to his first full term the following year. He would not speculate on Friday about whether he will find himself in some other state government-related position down the road.
“The past few years in particular have been wearing, although they’ve also been rewarding,” he said. “I will wind up 17 years in the Senate without having accomplished every single thing that was on my list, but at the same time, I’m not leaving just so I can sign up for something else.”
Hoping to take his 18th District seat are Democrat Ralph Schmidt of Camas and current 18th District Rep. Ann Rivers (R-La Center).
Others who filed by the deadline include 18th District Representative, Position 2, candidates Republican Liz Pike of Camas, and Democrats David Shehorn of Vancouver and Ryan Gompertz of Camas.
18th District Representative, Position 1 candidates are Battle Ground resident Adrian E. Cortes, of the GOP party, and Republican Brandon Vick of Vancouver.
Also on the Aug. 7 primary ballot will be a City of Camas six-year levy to fund emergency medical services. If approved, the levy rate would increase from 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to 46 cents.
According to the Clark County Elections Office, so far no opposition statement to the Camas levy proposal has been submitted for inclusion in the voter’s pamphlet. Anyone who would like to write an opposing statement should contact Elections Supervisor Tim Likness at 397-2345 by Friday at 5 p.m.
“The public is best served by having a local voters pamphlet which presents a fair and balanced debate on the merits of local measures submitted for a vote of the citizens,” said County Auditor Greg Kimsey. “We urge anyone who is interested to help us get their supporting or opposing statements to these local measures into the local voters pamphlet.”
For a full list of candidate filings for all open offices, visit www.clark.wa.gov/elections.