Battle Ground City Council: Longtime incumbent in, new faces likely coming January


Based on general election votes for the three open seats on Battle Ground City Council, one incumbent and two newcomers will likely join the board.

For Battle Ground City Council position 2, Shane Bowman is likely to retain his seat with 58.6% of the vote. Challenger Josh VanGelder had about 41%.

Bowman said his continued success as a local legislator has to do with his track record.

“I felt that the citizens of Battle Ground, they obviously pay attention to what’s going on,” Bowman said.

Bowman doesn’t think the city is facing major issues that require change. He said a supposed effort against him from a political party failed.

“So many times when we have parties pushing candidates, they think they have to toe a party line, when that isn’t necessarily the right thing to do for the city,” Bowman said.

Bowman remarked on how municipal government differed from the statewide and nationwide issues out there.

He noted one newcomer to the Battle Ground political sphere, Eric Joe Overholser.

“I think [Overholser] has done a good job. He’s been putting his name out there,” Bowman said about Overholser

Regarding partisanship, Bowman said he understood its limits. He spoke specifically about candidates who championed ideals over efforts.

“That, in my opinion, doesn’t show that you’re willing to sit down and listen to everybody,” Bowman said.

Bowman had one specific project he would like to see come to fruition: that of a multi-field park in the city. It’s something that Ridgifield has seen with the opening of the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreational Complex (RORC) and is similar to something Bowman would like in Battle Ground.

“I came from Little League, so it’s always been there,” Bowman said about that desire.

For position 3, a newcomer is likely to take the reins for a position currently held by a newcomer himself. As of the latest count, Victoria Ferrer has nearly 60.9% of the vote against incumbent Dan Dingman, who was appointed earlier this year.

Ferrer said the vote was “exciting and humbling, at the same time.”

She acknowledged attacks against her, saying she wasn’t as much of a presence compared with Dingman or others. She argued she was more of the voice of the people compared to others.

“How many times have we voted for an elected official, and they ended up not being what they painted themselves out to be,” Ferrer said,

The one completely open seat will see a political newcomer getting the seat. As of latest numbers, Eric Joe Overholser had 57.2% of the vote against fellow challenger Josie Calderon’s roughly 52.6%.

Like his other candidate compatriots, Overholser was grateful for his success. He was still realistic when it came to results, however.

“I was glad to see that I didn’t lose any ground during the general campaign,”  Overholser said.

He attributed his success to those who pushed his campaign forward.

“It speaks more about the team that was behind me than me, honestly,” Overholser said.

Going into the campaign, Overholser didn’t expect as many helping hands, he said.

“It actually had more traction than I could have anticipated,” Overholser said.

“I’m not a politician, honestly,” Overholser added. “I’m just a citizen of Battle Ground.”

Overlholser had nothing but good to say of the councilor he would replace, Philip Johnson, who also served as Battle Ground’s mayor.

“I think he’s a heck of a councilor,” Overholser said about his preceding seatholder.