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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dave Wilson, Jenny Graham advance in 6th District House race

Democrat Dave Wilson finished first and Republican Jenny Graham finished second in the 6th Legislative District House primary to advance to the 2018 November election. (SR)

Democrats may once again have a chance to win seats in Spokane County’s 6th Legislative District.

The district, which covers the West Plains and western Spokane, hasn’t elected a Democrat since 2008.

But in all three races in the 6th on Tuesday’s primary ballot, Democrats won more votes than Republicans.

In the race for House Position 2, Democrat Dave Wilson and Republican Jenny Graham will continue to the general election, with Wilson taking 42.7 percent of the vote and Graham claiming 30.5 percent.

Wilson, a moderate Democrat, ran for Congress as an independent in 2014 and 2016 before choosing to run as a Democrat for the position 2 race.

A longtime resident and former business owner, Wilson has said he wants to improve health care access, provide better education for K-12 and make college more affordable.

Wilson said he was “humbled,” and doesn’t take the lead for granted.

“I feel the numbers reflect a lot of hard work by our campaign, and tireless work by our volunteers,” he said. “We’re going right back to work tomorrow.”

The election results reflect his campaign messages resonating with voters, Wilson said.

“They’re interested in how can we make the 6th better. Having more visible, accessible and responsive leadership,” Wilson said. “That’s what I think the voters want, and that’s what they deserve, and that’s what we’re looking forward to giving them.”

Republican Jenny Graham, another longtime resident and business owner, has garnered support from several current and former Republican legislators, including Jeff Holy and John Ahern.

She worked with both legislators in 2013 to help craft a bill that increased the statute of limitations for child sexual predators.

Her campaign has focused heavily on public safety and working with small business owners. She said she wants to create more “good-paying, blue-collar jobs” and help small businesses succeed.

Graham said she wants to be an advocate for constituents that feel under-represented in Olympia.

“(Voters) feel like Western Washington makes all of the decisions, because Eastern Washington isn’t being heard,” she said. “I’m focused on giving Eastern Washington and the people of the 6th District a stronger voice.”

Republican John Aiken came in third at 15.4 percent, and Democrat Rion Ametu fourth at 11.2.