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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lt. Governor

Election Results

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.

About The 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.”

The Candidates

Cyrus Habib

Bellevue, WA

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University; master’s from Oxford; law degree from Yale.

Work experience: Attorney at the firm Perkins Coie; professor at Seattle University Law School. Former King County civil rights commissioner.

Political experience: Elected to the state Senate in 2014, serving the 48th Legislative District on the West Side, which includes Redmond; member of the Senate Democratic Leadership Team; currently serves as Democratic Whip; served a term in the state House, 2013-2014.

Family: Single and has no children.

Marty McClendon

Gig Harbor, WA

Education: Graduated from Lake Roosevelt High School. Attended University of Washington and studied pre-medicine; certification training, including to become anesthesia technician, mortgage broker and life insurance agent.

Work experience: Anesthesia technician, 1987-2000; pastor of Gig Harbor Family Church, since 2013; real estate managing broker, 1999-present; radio talk show host at KLFE, AM-1590 in Seattle, 2015-present.

Political experience: Republican precinct committee officer.

Elected experience: Ran for lieutenant governor in 2016; lost in general election. Precinct committee officer; 26th Legislative District Republican Club president, 2012-2014.

Family: Married; has three children.

Complete Coverage

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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.

Spin Control: Inaugural tidbits: Judy Collins, a wry toast and a salacious scupture

The first week of the Washington legislature was marked by celebrations and ceremony. Will the heavy lifting start this week?

Sunday Spin: Scenes from Week 1

Judy Collins, an excellent adventure toast and an icy sculpture were among first week’s highlights.

Washington set to swear in first blind lieutenant governor

As Washington state prepares to swear in its first blind lieutenant governor, the Senate has undergone a makeover that incorporates Braille into that chamber’s floor sessions

Habib, McLaughlin for state offices

In the primary races for lieutenant governor and lands commissioner, the editorial board selected candidates who didn’t advance to the general election. The following are our reassessments in those contests. Lt. Governor: State Sen. Cyrus Habib, D-Bellevue, finished first in a crowded field, collecting a mere 22 percent of the vote. Marty McClendon, a Gig Harbor Republican, finished a close second.

It’ll be Jay Inslee vs. Bill Bryant in Washington governor race

It’s Inslee vs. Bryant for governor and likely Habib vs. McClendon for lieutenant governor as voters whittle down long lists of candidates seeking statewide office.

Hobbs is best choice for lieutenant governor

Hobbs has a record of leadership and impartiality, and he has the most balanced support, with labor and business backing. He has earned our endorsement.

Owen, Habib trade letters, jabs over lt. gov. race

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen says Sen. Cyrus Habib may be too partisan to replace him. Habib says he wants to office to be more active.

Longtime Lt. Gov. Brad Owen slams one of the candidates hoping to succeed him

Retiring Lt. Gov. Brad Owen criticizes fellow Democrat Sen. Cyrus Habib, one of 11 candidates seeking to replace him.

Office of Washington lieutenant governor attracts high interest

Current Lt. Gov. Brad Owen has held the post since 1997. He announced his retirement earlier this year, sparking a rare rush of candidates for the office. Eleven candidates have filed for the position.

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.