With updated vote counts released Thursday morning, Camas City Councilwoman Melissa Smith continues to lead in the primary race for the Ward 1, Position 2 council seat.
The newest numbers show Smith with 382 votes (54.89 percent), Emilia Brasier receiving 188 votes (27.01 percent) and Amanda Stamness with 126 votes (18.1 percent).
“I’m happy about it … grateful,” Smith said Tuesday night, after preliminary results started rolling in. “I’ve had a lot of people calling me and asking about the issues. I guess they liked my answers.”
Smith said the promising lead means she can now switch gears from the primary to the general election.
“I’ll give it a couple weeks and then I definitely have some things to think about,” Smith said.
A Camas City Council member since 2004, this is the first time Smith has faced challengers in the primary election. The top two vote-earners will move on to the Nov. 7 General Election.
Brasier said she was excited by the possibility of moving on to the general election.
“It’s an honor that people are voting for me and have confidence in me,” Brasier said.
In Washougal, where three candidates are vying for that city council’s Position 6 seat,
Julie Russell said she was “cautiously optimistic and very pleased” with the results so far.
Russell has 675 votes (40.04 percent), compared to Adam Philbin with 561 votes (33.27 percent) and Nettie Morris with 450 votes (26.69 percent).
Russell, 57, has lived in Washougal since 2015. She is a former Tigard, Oregon, Water District commissioner. Russell is a licensed marriage and family therapist and mental health counselor, as well as registered play therapist.
Philbin, 49, has lived in Washougal for 10 years. He is the manager of security and risk at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Portland.
Philbin said Tuesday night he was pretty excited about the primary results so far.
“It’s still really close so I’m not getting too attached to the results right now, but I’m pretty confident,” he said.
Philbin spent five years as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT), five years as a professional EMT in King County, Washington, and 19 years in health care protection and emergency management.
Morris, 67, has lived in Washougal since 2005. She is a former vice president and shop steward of the American Federation of State county and Municipal Employees. Morris previously worked as a program manager and lead residential support specialist for adults with disabilities. She is a former employee and volunteer at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society, in Washougal.
Morris said Thursday afternoon, that when she took on the endeavor of being a candidate for a council seat, she put her heart and sole into it.
“It was my goal to be a voice for our city and listen to our citizens and work for them,” she said. “I respect the choices our community has made by selecting the other two candidates, and I wish them both well in the November election.”
Russell said Tuesday night she was not sure how people would feel about her being a newcomer to Washougal and running for office.
“The other candidates have been here for a long time,” she said.
“I would appreciate the opportunity to serve,” Russell added. “I’m just excited and looking forward to meeting more people in the community.”
Incumbent Washougal City Councilman Dave Shoemaker is not seeking re-election after serving on city council for eight years.
The Clark County Elections Office has an estimated 200 more ballots to count, and overall voter turnout in the county is 19.8 percent.
News intern Tori Benavente contributed to this report.
This information, originally reported Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 9:17 p.m., was updated Thursday, Aug. 3, at 1:39 p.m.