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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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State Senator

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Andy Billig (D) 31,114 67.76%
James R. Apker (L) 14,803 32.24%

* 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

Sen. Andy Billig has quickly risen up the ranks since winning his Senate seat in 2012. He is the current deputy minority leader. No Republican opted to challenge his re-election, but he does face Libertarian James Apker.

Billig’s top concern is improving education funding. “It’s vital that we live up to our constitutional duty to fully fund basic education, and that we do so in a way that focuses on improving student success.” He also plans to continue to push for a bill aimed at curbing the flow of “dark money” into political campaigns.

Apker said he wants to make a more business-friendly climate in Spokane through less restrictive regulations and taxes. Specifically, he’d like to do away with the business and occupation tax and replace it with a flat tax system, actively seek out businesses to bring to Washington, and reduce state sales and gas taxes. He also wants to amend the state constitution to allow charter schools to receive funding.

The Candidates

Andy Billig

Spokane, Washington
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.

James R. Apker

Mead, WA
Electronics technician

Education: Graduated from Riverside High School in 1995. Earned associate degree in network engineering from Spokane Community College and associate degree in construction management from Edmonds Community College.

Work experience: Small business owner doing residential construction and consultation. Former electronics installation and service technician. Has worked as a construction worker, satellite installation technician and project manager.

Political background: Has held no public office. Previously ran for state representative in the 7th Legislative District.

Family: Single

Complete Coverage

Washington Senate could vote on major school changes this week

Republicans push their proposed overhaul of public school funding and policies toward a vote in the full Senate.

Spin Control: Spin Control: Success in the Washington Senate requires counting to 25

In the Senate, 25 is the magic number.

Success in the Washington Senate starts with counting to 25

If Friday’s Senate session was on Sesame Street, it would have been brought to you by the number 25.

Bill would let Spokane officials order railroads to go slower through downtown area

City or state officials could require slower rail speeds through downtown Spokane under a bill introduced Wednesday.

Washington school salaries hard to compare

Comparing pay for teachers and other public school employees around Washington is difficult, experts tell lawmakers as the Legislature tries to figure out how much the state must spend to improve basic education.

Spokane lawmakers could be in strong positions in 2017 Legislature

Spokane’s legislative delegation not likely to lose any clout even though the election is pointing to some changes likely in next year’s session.

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

Incumbents on both sides of the aisle appeared headed for additional terms in Olympia as ballots were counted Tuesday. Republican Mike Volz was poised to earn the House seat vacated by popular lawmaker Kevin Parker, who announced he wouldn’t seek re-election earlier this year.

Fear and loathing as local Democrats watch Trump take battleground states

As a sea of red states blipped onto three giant projector screens, the crowded ballroom of Spokane’s Lincoln Center became a sea of grimacing faces.

In race for central Spokane senate seat, incumbent Andy Billig faces Libertarian James Apker in friendly contest

There can be a lot of vitriol in American politics, but a race for a seat in the Washington State Senate has been amicable, mostly. “It’s refreshing that we have two candidates who have very different political views, but really get along well personally,” said Democratic Sen. Andy Billig, who is up against Libertarian James Apker in the 3rd Legislative District, covering central Spokane.

Return hardworking Billig to Olympia

In his six years in the Legislature, Billig has demonstrated his ability to work from the center to achieve legislative success.

Charter school “fix” sent to Gov. Jay Inslee

A possible fix to Washington’s charter school law received final approval from lawmakers Thursday, giving the schools a chance of staying open with Lottery money.

WaLeg Day 60: Charter school fix gets final OK

A possible fix to Washington’s charter school law received final approval from lawmakers Thursday, giving the schools a chance of staying open with Lottery money.

Shawn Vestal: Washington Legislature is OK with political dark money

Another year, another death for Andy Billig’s attempt to shine more light on dark money in state politics. This year, instead of a proposal that drew support in both houses before being scotched by business lobbyists, the Washington DISCLOSE Act was simply bottled up by the Senate majority, never to see the light of day.

Washington Senate agrees to task force to seek public school fix

The Senate approved a bill to set up a task force that would come up with a plan next year to meet court mandated obligations to public schools.

Senate approves bill to pay for charter schools with lottery money

Senate Republicans moved to keep charter schools open with Lottery money in an effort to find a system that would pass muster with the Supreme Court.

Senate passes charter school bill

Senate Republicans moved to keep charter schools open with Lottery money in an effort to find a system that would pass muster with the Supreme Court.