PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With election day a week away, one race in Vancouver has record amounts of money pouring in on both sides of the ballot.
There are a lot of elements at stake with the district 1 commissioner job at the Port of Vancouver, but in the end, it’s the proposed oil terminal that’s raising the profile of the candidates.
“If the governor says ‘yes,’ yeah, I say let’s do it,. Let’s bring those jobs to Vancouver,” candidate Kris Greene said.
Greene said the oil terminal would net the Port of Vancouver $7-10 million more per year. Money that would lead to growing, building and attracting even more new business.
“That’s where the 3,000 to 4,000 new jobs could be developed over the next 6 years,” Greene said.
Greene’s opponent, on the other hand, believes it would drive off employment. If elected, Don Orange could swing the power of the 3-member port commission against the $210 million project.
“This is a great place for 21st century jobs,” Orange said. “We don’t want to go and become an oil town.”
Along with posing potential danger, Orange believes the project will make it harder to attract tenants to the Port.
“That’s a shame that he feels that way because I think that he’s absolutely wrong,” Greene said.
The debate is the defining point that’s driving campaign contributors to new heights. Greene has raised close to $600,000 and Orange, more than $417,000.
“We’re spending more than I ever dreamed,” Orange said.
Orange said “big oil” is simply buying his opponent, who has taken in more than $350 in cash contributions from the industry.
“He’ll basically belong to the oil company,” Orange said.
“First off, I’m not bought and sold by the oil companies,” Greene said.
Greene said his goal is to ensure the proposed oil terminal is allowed due process and that he’ll agree with whatever decision is handed down by the governor, who has the final say on the project.
“…if he says ‘no,’ I’m fine with that too,” Greene said.