Candidate Profile: Clark County Commissioner District 1

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Joe Tanner

Joe Tanner

Address: 17507 N.E. 33rd Ave., Ridgefield, WA 98642

Phone: 360-910-1600


Age: 65

Occupation: Senior management in medical device, electronics manufacturing, retail and consumer products firms

Education: bachelor’s degree in economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard University; JD from the University of Texas School of Law

Political Party: Democrat

Web site:

1. Why are you running for Clark County commissioner?

Clark County badly needs help, a new direction, with new leadership. That is exactly what drove me to public service earlier, in the State House and Senate, and as president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council. We created fundamental and lasting positive changes in Clark County then, and I can lead the same type of positive change now.

Our unemployment is uncharacteristically 35 percent higher than Portland and the state of Washington, and our average wage has slipped badly. Our citizens are hurting, and county government is doing little to change the situation.

My plan is a “game changer.” Just like the last time I was in a position to make a difference, I expect to see many new employers and a rising level of wages for our citizens.

2. What are the top two issues currently facing Clark County and its residents, and what is your stance on those issues?

The top two issues are jobs and jobs. The top four issues are jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs. I have a five-point economic development plan that will send Clark County in an entirely new and positive direction. You can access it on my website. However, to pick only three priorities: (1) Solve the storm water runoff regulation issue that has practically halted construction here; (2) A major reduction of regulations and fees impacting business in Clark County; and (3) establishment of a research park near WSU-Vancouver.

3. What will be your number one priority, if elected in November?

Implementation of all the elements of my five-point economic development plan.

4. As an elected official or activist, what has been your best contribution during the past year?

I left my career to devote my full time on this County Commissioner campaign. During this campaign, I have identified specific actions that will take Clark County in an entirely new direction. Those are included in my 5-point economic development plan. Through this campaign I intend to put myself in a position to implement that plan.

I believe my campaign has generated a great deal of enthusiasm, and therefore a great deal of hope for the future of Clark County. This is evidenced by the many and varied endorsements I have received. Here are a few of them: Clark County Board of Realtors, Firefighters Local 452, Building Industry Association of Clark County, Southwest Washington Central Labor Council, and Sierra Club — Loo Wit Group Cascade Chapter.

Editor’s Note: Also on the ballot for the Clark County Commissioner Position 1 seat is incumbent Tom Mielke. Mielke did not respond by press deadlines to several requests for response made via email and phone.