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Incumbents, Republican Mike Volz preferred by voters in state legislative contests

Voters in Spokane County like their representation in Olympia.

All the incumbents running for re-election for legislative seats that represent Spokane County won re-election on Tuesday.

In the hardest-fought local legislative race, Republican Mike Volz, the deputy Spokane County treasurer, had a sizable 54 percent to 46 percent lead over Democrat Lynette Vehrs to replace state Rep. Kevin Parker.

“I will go to Olympia and serve you to the best of my ability,” Volz told an election-night gathering in Spokane Valley in support of Donald Trump.

Democrats focused on the race, especially after Parker made the surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election for his seat representing the 6th Legislative District.

In a five-candidate August primary, Vehrs was the only Democrat and easily topped the other challengers. Volz came in second and defeated a better-funded Republican who had the backing of U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Vehrs gave a concession speech but hinted she’ll likely run again for public office.

“It was overwhelming how much support I had,” she told a crowd at Spokane’s Lincoln Center, where local Democrats hosted an election-night gathering. “I want to warn you: I’m not done.”

As of early this week, Vehrs had raised $103,000 for her campaign, compared to $61,000 raised by Volz.

In the other race in the 6th district, incumbent Republican Rep. Jeff Holy easily defeated Shar Lichty, a community organizer who challenged Mayor David Condon’s re-election bid last year. Holy had 61 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s count.

In the 3rd Legislative District, which represents central Spokane, incumbent Democrats easily topped challengers.

In the only race with multiple challengers in Spokane Valley’s 4th Legislative District, state Rep. Matt Shea easily won his fifth term in the House, despite recent public criticism of him from Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. He was challenged by Democrat Scott Stucker, who had never run for office before and mustered only a low-budget campaign.

Republican Rep. Mary Dye easily won re-election in the 9th Legislative District, which covers southeastern Washington, as did Republican Rep. Joel Kretz in northeastern Washington’s 7th district.

Incumbents easily won local state Senate races, but Republicans seemed likely to see their narrow majority in that chamber drop by one member with the probable loss of Sen. Steve Litzow from Mercer Island in the state’s most expensive legislative race.


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