Woodland mayor, councilors ousted based on latest election results


The city of Woodland’s government will change next year as the latest election results see its current mayor and a few city councilors likely out.

As of the latest counts of ballots in both Clark and Cowlitz counties before press deadline, challenger Todd Dinehart has a solid lead against incumbent Will Finn for Woodland mayor. Dinehart had 69.8% of the vote to Finn’s roughly 30.1%.

Finn had run unopposed in his two previous elections in 2015 and 2019. Dinehart has been a vocal critic of the current mayor and administration, specifically targeting issues with utility rates and billing in the city.

One incumbent in a contested election is likely to move on but not with a large margin. As of press deadline, incumbent Melissa Doughty had about 50.8% of the vote for the council’s position 3 seat against challenger Keith Bellisle’s roughly 48.9%. Doughty was appointed in April 2022. Bellisle has unsuccessfully run for different council seats since 2017, though he came closest to election this year with only a 31-vote difference as of the latest numbers available to The Reflector.

For Woodland’s position 4 seat, challenger Douglas Freimarck has a stable lead against incumbent Aaron Alderman. As of press deadline, Freimarck had about 53.1% of the vote for the position 4 seat to Alderman’s roughly 46.7%.

Alderman was appointed to the City Council in March. He had competed against Freimarck in the appointment process, where the existing council voted for Alderman.

Another applicant in the appointment, Gabe Huston, is also set to be elected to a Woodland council seat but by the slimmest margin of those seeking competitive seats in the city. As of press deadline, Huston had about 50.3% of the vote for the position 5 seat, having 12 more votes than incumbent DeeAnna Holland’s roughly 49.5%.

Though some of the races are close, as of the latest numbers, none qualify for a mandatory recount. Per state law, a recount will only take place if a half a percentage point separates the candidates in a race, according to the office of the Washington Secretary of State.

Alongside the mayoral and three council seats, Woodland also had two incumbents running unchallenged: Terry Hall, who was appointed earlier this year, and Monte Smith, who was elected in 2019.