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

Graham narrowly leads Wilson in 6th Legislative District race

Jenny Graham poses for a photo after EWU's 6th Legislative District Candidate Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, at EWU's Hargreaves Hall Reading Room in Cheney, Wash.  

Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Tyler Tjomsland / Spokesman Review)
By Will Campbell and Rebecca White The Spokesman-Review

The race for an open House seat in Spokane’s 6th Legislative District is too-close-to call.

Republican Jenny Graham is ahead of her Democrat opponent Dave Wilson by a mere 250 votes. Graham has earned 50.3 percent of the votes, while Wilson holds 49.7 percent of the 39,094 votes.

Wilson said he’s optimistic about the results because he campaigned in many Republican precincts, where he expects more votes.

“We’re still in the thick of it,” he said. “It’s hard to predict where these votes came from. We went to the 48 largest precincts first, and then picked ten more. We didn’t not talk to Republicans. We talked to everybody.”

“We think we’ll do well in the precincts where we doorbelled,” he said, “which are the biggest ones.”

Republican candidate Graham, who gained the support of state rep. Jeff Holy, said she was concerned new taxes in Washington, both state and local, could leave Washington state with the highest tax rate in the country.

Graham, who worked alongside legislators to craft a bill that increased the statute of limitations for child sex predators, has said she hopes to work to protect victims of crime. She also has advocated for second amendment rights and appeared at the Initiative 1639 rally this summer alongside Rep. Matt Shea to speak out against the measure, which would require safe storage and the age limit to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21.

Her opponent Dave Wilson, a former Republican who became disillusioned after the Iraq War, ran as an independent for Congress in 2014 and 2016. He believes legislators should be helping people navigate government, which he sees as a partner in both society and the economy. He said he also supported increasing programs that divert people away from jail and see’s education as the silver bullet to criminal justice and inequality issues.

Dave Wilson came in first in the primaries, bringing in 42.7 percent of the vote, with Jenny Graham taking 30.5 percent. Republican John Aiken and Democrat Rion Ametu, who did not move past the primaries, came in third and forth with 26.7 percent of the vote.