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Saturday, November 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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About this race

Voters will decide between Democratic state Sen. Cyrus Habib of Bellevue and Marty McClendon, a Republican real estate agent, pastor and conservative talk show host from Gig Harbor. The winner will replace Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat who has held the post since 1997.

The lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate during legislative sessions, ensuring that protocol is followed. In case of a tie, the lieutenant governor casts the deciding vote. Less frequently, the office is called to fill in for the governor when the head of state is away or incapacitated.

Habib, an attorney who lost his eyesight to cancer at age 8, said his experience in the Legislature, as well as his position teaching legislative procedure at Seattle University, makes the office of lieutenant governor a natural transition for him.

McClendon, 49, said he thinks voters are looking for something different than the status quo this year. “I’m just a normal guy, I can relate to normal people,” he said. “People who have been part of the system have been part of the problem.”

Owen sent Habib a letter suggesting he is too partisan for the position, criticizing Habib’s statements that he would not sign bills that he thought were unconstitutional. In a year when the state is under a Supreme Court contempt order and deadline to properly fund education, Habib said it’s important for him to be on the record in protest if the legislative budget does not satisfy the court’s requirements. He notes his protest would only be symbolic, since the bill could move forward regardless of whether the lieutenant governor signs it.

Habib has said he would seek to prohibit all guns in the public gallery that overlooks the Senate floor. Currently, under a rule change implemented by Owen last year, only openly carried firearms are prohibited in the gallery. Those with concealed weapon permits are still permitted. McClendon disagrees, noting that people with concealed weapon permits have to go through a background check. He said that expanding the ban to “those that are legally authorized to carry guns is not the way to do it.”

Lt. Governor, State of Washington

Candidate Votes Pct
Cyrus Habib (D) 1,515,483 54.53%
Marty McClendon (R) 1,263,485 45.47%

* 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.

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