Democrat Tom McGarry appears poised to challenge incumbent Republican State Rep. Jenny Graham for a seat representing District 6 in the state House of Representatives.
Graham topped McGarry with 52% of the vote to McGarry’s 30% and both now move to the general election, leaving behind third-place candidate Christian McLachlan, a Democrat and political newcomer who earned 18%.
Two-term incumbent Republican State Rep. Mike Volz and Democrat Zack Zappone will be on the November ballot vying for District 6’s other seat in the House of Representatives; there was no third challenger in their primary race.
District 6 is a mix of rural and urban constituents, encompassing the upper South Hill in Spokane, Cheney, Airway Heights and Medical Lake.
Both House races are shaping up to be competitive in November.
The district has leaned Republican for more than a decade, but Democrats will attempt, once again, to make inroads in 2020.
Graham surpassed McGarry by a wide margin and received 51.7% of the vote, but the two Democrats challenging her accounted for about 48% of the tally as of Tuesday evening.
Volz held a lead over Zappone, earning 53% to Zappone’s 47%.
McGarry, a lawyer in private practice who specializes in landlord-tenant law, has positioned himself as a political moderate while portraying Graham as on the fringe. Arguing he’s the “serious” candidate, McGarry has sharply criticized Graham’s response to the coronavirus, which included sharing a Facebook post that was flagged as false by the social media network.
Graham, who is seeking her second term in office, has expressed concern about the economic and psychological toll of coronavirus-induced restrictions. She staunchly opposes tax increases and is an advocate for victims of crime.
Thus far, Graham has the edge in campaign fundraising, bringing in $48,835 in donations to McGarry’s $34,472.
Volz, first elected in 2016, is a business- friendly candidate who has said the state needs to be mindful of its spending, particularly during the current economic downtown.
Zappone, a teacher, has highlighted education, access to health care and bringing jobs to Eastern Washington as the pillars of his campaign.
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