Two newly elected Clark County Councilors took their oaths of office Thursday in downtown Vancouver, Washington.
Eileen Quiring and John Blom were sworn in at a ceremony on the sixth floor of the county’s public service center.
Despite both being Republicans, the newly elected officials mark a political shift for the state’s fifth largest county, away from the tea-party politics championed by outgoing councilors David Madore and Tom Mielke.
Blom will represent District 3, the eastern part of Clark County. He takes over from Madore, who lost in the August primary.
After taking the oath, Blom thanked the standing room only crowd.
“At some point earlier in the year I heard the quote from Abraham Lincoln that said ‘I’m here today because a friend believed in me and I didn’t want to let them down,’” Blom said. “I feel like that’s so much of why I’m here today is because people along the way said, ‘You can do this, we believe in you.’ And I’m just so thankful for all of the support.”
Quiring takes over from retiring councilor Tom Mielke. She’ll represent District 4, the northern portion of Clark County.
Quiring served as a member of the Oregon Legislature from 1995-97 and the Oregon Senate from 1997-2001.
After taking the oath, Quiring thanked her supporters.
“I plan to faithfully execute the laws of the state, and of the county,” Quiring said. “I hope to serve you well. And with God’s help and your help, I will be able to do that.”
Clark County’s political shift began in November 2014, when voters passed a new charter that separated the legislative and executive functions of the county councilors. It also increased the size of the council.
The county’s new council will meet for the first time on Jan. 3.