When Temple Lentz decided to run for Clark County Council’s District 1 position, she planned to run an aggressive overall campaign.
“The way that I’ve been putting it, I will outwork and outraise my opponents,” said Lentz, who works as business director for the Heather DeFord Group at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty and previously served on the Clark County Board of Freeholders.
Lentz, a Democrat, said she’s been pleasantly surprised by the swell of support she’s received over her opponents Republican County Councilor Jeanne Stewart and seven-term former Democratic state Rep. Jim Moeller.
The most recent filings with the state Public Disclosure Commission show that Lentz has considerably outpaced her opponents in fundraising, with $21,705 in contributions.
Stewart has raised $800, $500 of which came from her own pocket. Local activist Carolyn Crain contributed $100 to her campaign, and developer Elie Kassab contributed another $200. Moeller hasn’t raised a dime and has instead lent his campaign $2,000.
In Washington, all candidates run in an open primary that will be held in August. The top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the general election in November.
Moeller said he won’t campaign against fellow Democrat Lentz. He said that the two hold similar positions on housing, transportation and pot.
“She’s my ally, and I don’t want to turn on an ally,” said Moeller. He said that he hasn’t always taken this approach, but added, “I’m doing it now.”
Stewart was elected on a county-wide vote to then Clark County commission in 2014. She spent $127,630 to prevail over Democrat Craig Pridemore. After she was elected, the county began implementing its home rule charter. Adopted by voters in 2014, the charter transitioned from the commission to a district-based council in 2015.
Stewart now faces a more Democratic-leaning district that encompasses large swaths of Vancouver. Stewart said it was never her intention to run a “big money” campaign this time around.
“My campaign is going exactly as I planned and hoped it would,” said Stewart.
Stewart said she can win without “thousands of signs and buttons.” She wouldn’t disclose the details of her campaign strategy but said she would appeal to thoughtful people who value experience and steady leadership that’s not beholden to political extremes.
She also said that her name is well known and associated with hard work and accomplishments.
Lentz said that in addition to fundraising, she’s also been actively talking to neighborhood and business groups. She said she has not seen her opponents out much on the campaign trail.
“It’s surprising to me that my opponents appear to not be seriously campaigning,” she said.
Third party candidate Veny Razumovsky has not reported raising any money. He did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.
The first time Clark County had a district-based election was in 2015. Republican Clark County Councilor Julie Olson prevailed in the District 2 race after raising $36,238.
Lentz pointed out that the amounts of the contributions she’s received vary and reflect a broad base of support. Some donors gave $50 or a several hundred dollars. Nearly a dozen donors gave at least $1,000 to Lentz’s campaign.
Included in the larger contributors is local philanthropist and political donor David Nierenberg and his wife, Patricia, who each gave $2,000. Lentz said she reached out to the couple, got to know them and secured their support.
“There are three fine public servants in this race,” said David Nierenberg in an email in May. “But, looking ahead toward the future needs of our growing community, as JFK said in his inaugural address, the torch is passed to a new generation, and, in my view, Temple is the best of the best.”