Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 35° Clear

State Senator

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Andy Billig (D) 28,305 57.79%
Nancy McLaughlin (R) 20,673 42.21%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

About The Race

Voters in central Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District will choose between two popular and experienced politicians to fill the vacancy that will be left with the retirement of Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, who shocked local and state officials in May when she abruptly announced that she would not seek a new term. Republicans were excited about Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin’s entry into the race – which occurred before Brown decided to retire – because she has attracted strong support in her council district representing northwest Spokane. But the legislative district leans more Democratic than the area within her council boundaries, making her work difficult, and results of the primary showed her opponent, state Rep. Andy Billig, with a convincing lead. Billig, too, has been popular with voters and cruised to victory in his first run for office in 2010.

Legislators are paid $42,106 annually, plus healthcare benefits. Senate terms are four years.

The Candidates

Andy Billig

Party:
Democrat
Age:
52
City:
Spokane, Washington
Occupation:
State representative

Education: Graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland in 1986. Earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Georgetown University in 1990.

Work experience: Former general manager and president of the Spokane Indians baseball team. Current co-owner and executive with the team.

Political experience: Elected state representative in the 3rd District in 2010. Served for two years before winning 3rd District senate seat in 2012. Re-elected in 2016. Currently serves as the Senate majority leader.

Family: Divorced. Has two children.

Campaign fundraising: $275,140 as of Sept. 2, according to the Public Disclosure Commission. Top donations include $2,000 each from MACPAC, Kaiser Aluminum, Centurylink, Avista Corp., Premera BFlue Cross, Microsoft, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and the Washington State Troopers PAC.

Nancy McLaughlin

Party:
Republican
Age:
62
City:
Spokane Valley, WA

Education: Valedictorian of Nampa High School, Class of 1976; attended Boise State University for one semester.

Political experience: Served two terms on the Spokane City Council, winning elections in 2005 and 2009. Appointed to the Spokane County Commission in February; previously served as a precinct committee officer. Former president of the Association of Washington Cities. Former president of Parent-Teacher Organization at Madison Elementary.

Work experience: Founded D-MAC Construction, a kitchen and bath remodeling company, with her husband in 1980 and still runs the business; worked for Treasure Valley Woodworking, her parents’ cabinet business; served as an administrative assistant for a plant breeder in Nampa, Idaho, and for a doctor in Spokane. 

Family: Married, three children

Complete Coverage

Shawn Vestal: Nailing down the hammer analogy

Perhaps you’ve come across the latest low-water mark in our debate about guns. It is the assertion – made recently in Spokane City Council chambers and at a public forum in Coeur d’Alene, as well as in the echoing void of the all-guns-at-all-costs universe – that hammers kill more people than assault weapons. Hammers! Outrageous!

Why doesn’t this tax plan require a supermajority?

Last year, voters in Washington approved Initiative 1185, a measure requiring supermajority votes of two-thirds to raise taxes in the Legislature. Voters approved I-1185 with a not-quite-supermajority of 63.9 percent.

Voters to decide whether 5-2 split needed on taxes

Spokane’s Proposition 2 is a way to ensure strong consensus on important issues or a strategy for a minority to seize control from the majority. That’s the debate among Spokane officials about the proposed requirement that tax increases earn at least five of seven votes on the City Council for approval instead of four.

No easy fix to halt violence

In an address to the nation, President Barack Obama promised action to prevent future mass shootings in response to Friday’s killings at a Connecticut elementary school. In crafting potential policy changes in the Washington Legislature, state Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, will have a unique voice.

Voters likely to get library plea

There could be something for almost everyone on a special election ballot in February. Originally wary of spending the money to hold a special election, the Spokane City Council on Monday appears ready to send three items to the ballot for voters to consider. The council last week set aside $200,000 to hold the election.

Council mulls supermajority requirement

It could soon get harder for Spokane city leaders to raise taxes. The Spokane City Council on Monday will consider whether to ask voters if raising tax rates should require approval of at least five of the city’s seven council members.

Spokane officials consider response to school shooting

In an address to the nation, President Barack Obama promised action to prevent future mass shootings in response to Friday’s mass murder at a Connecticut elementary school. In crafting possible related policy changes in the Washington State Legislature, state Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, will have a unique voice.

Statewide report grades lawmakers on racial equity

Republican lawmakers from Spokane and Eastern Washington received failing grades in a new statewide report on racial equity issued by a liberal-leaning organization. Only Democratic state Rep. Andy Billig from Spokane’s 3rd District received an “A” based on votes on 25 pieces of legislation over the past two years. Billig will move to the Senate in January.

Mapping the Vote: Billig leads McLaughlin

None

Democrats holding edge in Legislature

Democrats appear likely to hold on to both chambers of the Washington Legislature. Republicans had pushed to recapture the state Senate, where the Democrats currently have five more seats than Republicans. Control of the House has not been as much in dispute because Democrats have a wider margin, with 14 more seats than the GOP, and the party appeared to easily maintain a wide majority there.

Notes from a Democratic rally

None

Campaign fliers are mum on author

Dozens if not hundreds of fliers left on cars and doorsteps against Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin’s campaign for state Senate could violate state disclosure law. The black-and-white fliers that appear to be printed with a copy machine or computer printer criticize McLaughlin, a Republican, for her vote in support of revoking the alcohol impact area in the West Central neighborhood. One version of the flier said, “Nancy McLaughlin voted for fortified malt liquor sales over safe neighborhoods. We don’t need that kind of representation in Olympia.”

Billig vs. McLaughlin, Taxes

State Rep. Andy Billig, a Democrat, and Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, a Republican, discuss their opinions about taxes. The two are running for state Senate in Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District.

McLaughlin, Billig seek Senate seat

Andy Billig and Nancy McLaughlin are well-known and, judging by past election results, popular. And that’s what makes the race for the state Senate seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown much more interesting than any recent November election in the 3rd Legislative District.

Billig vs. McLaughlin, Abortion

State Rep. Andy Billig, a Democrat, and Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, a Republican, discuss their opinions about abortion policy. The two are running for state Senate in Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District.

Billig vs. McLaughlin, Education: Are higher taxes needed?

State Rep. Andy Billig, a Democrat, and Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, a Republican, discuss their opinions about education funding and taxes. The two are running for state Senate in Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District.

Spokane city leaders settle with detective, apologize

City leaders have apologized to a police detective fired last year for what officials described as a “troubled work history.” The Spokane City Council voted 5-1 on Monday to approve a $350,000 settlement with Detective Jeff Harvey, who was rehired earlier this year.

Billig vs. McLaughlin, Energy

State Rep. Andy Billig, a Democrat, and Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, a Republican, discuss their opinions about renewable energy. The two are running for state Senate in Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District.