Democrats appeared poised Tuesday night to retain their unanimous representation of the 3rd Legislative District in the State House.
Incumbent Reps.Marcus Riccelli, Timm Ormsby, and Sen.Andy Billig all held sizable leads on Tuesday night.
The 3rd Legislative District covers much of the city of Spokane, including its North Side, parts of the South Hill, and the East Central Neighborhood.
House Position 1
Riccelli held a strong lead over challenger Laura Carder , earning 62% of the ballots counted thus far.
Riccelli is poised to win a fifth term representing Spokane in the House of Representatives.
Carder, a Republican who had thrice run unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives, disagreed with Riccelli on the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The state should not mandate that people wear masks, Carder argued. Riccelli supported mask usage said he placed his faith in the guidance of Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz.
House Position 2
Ormsby fared well , earning 64% to challenger Bob Apple’s 35%.
Apple, a longtime member of the Spokane City Council, again sought a seat in the House of Representatives. He ran in 2010 and 2012 but fell short both times.
Ormsby has held the seat since he was first appointed to it in 2003 and now serves as the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He touted his long legislative record.
Apple has flipped between parties, but is now a Republican who backed Donald Trump and gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp.
The candidates also sparred over the best approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple questioned why small businesses were forced to shut down while larger retailers were considered essential. Ormsby said the shutdown was necessary to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Billig dominated early voting results .
Billig, a Democrat, has represented the district in the Senate since he first won election in 2010. He now serves as the Senate Majority Leader.
Lucas, a Republican, believed the district was ready for a change from Democratic leadership.
Billig held a lead of 20 percentage points, according to unofficial results, earning 60% of the vote to Lucas’ 40%.
Billig is a co-owner and executive of the Spokane Indians minor league baseball team.
Lucas is a retired Marine lieutenant colonel.
Although he has not won political office, Lucas is not a newcomer to politics. Lucas unsuccessfully challenged Ormsby for the House position in 2018, but opted to run for Senate in 2020.
Lucas questioned Billig on the sex education bill he co-sponsored.
The candidates also differed on the legislature’s response to the pandemic, with Lucas arguing a special session should have been held, but Billig said “it’s better to do it right than do it fast.”
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