August 5, 2014 in City

Christian trailing McCaslin, Wilhite for Spokane Valley House seat

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The state representative picked early this year by Spokane County commissioners to fill an open seat won’t get a new term.

Incumbent Republican Leonard Christian came in third in Tuesday’s top-two primary.

Kindergarten teacher Bob McCaslin, who father served 30 years in the state Senate, easily topped the field in the race, taking 44 percent of the vote in the first count of ballots. He will face former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite, who won 30 percent.

Christian captured just 24 percent. All three candidates are Republican.

McCaslin said he didn’t know what to expect going into the primary. Leonard had more billboards, more signs and more money, McCaslin said. McCaslin said he focused on a door-to-door campaign.

”I don’t think there’s any substitute for doing face-to-face with people,” McCaslin said. “I’m overjoyed and humbled.”

McCaslin was endorsed by Spokane Valley’s two other Republican legislators, Rep. Matt Shea and Sen. Mike Padden.

Wilhite said she is confident she will uphold her lead and move to the general election.

“I am very thankful that people have supported me and turned out to vote for me,” Wilhite said.

Christian could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

In the 3rd Legislative District, first-term Democratic incumbent Marcus Riccelli took 58 percent of the primary vote, and will take on Tim Benn, who has labeled himself an “independent Republican.” Riccelli defeated Benn for the seat two years ago.

In Tuesday’s count, Benn had 34 percent of the vote.

“We exceeded our expectations and things are looking great for November,” Riccelli said. “Tonight has shown that we’re in sync with what our community wants.”

Libertarian Randy McGlenn II was eliminated in the primary with 8 percent of the vote. But he said he’s excited with that number considering how late he began his campaign.

“It’s great for us and great for Libertarians,” McGlenn said. “It’s definitely a good start to work on.”

In the 6th Legislative District, write-in candidate Ziggy Siegfried, a Democrat, appears to have earned a spot on the general election ballot against Republican state Rep. Jeff Holy. Siegfried, who has been active in the Occupy Spokane movement, needed 1 percent to qualify. Nearly 6 percent of ballots cast were for a write-in candidate.


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