Anderson trailing Sehlin


Herald Writer

In the 10th legislative district, the race that caught the most attention was for state representative, Position 1.

Incumbent Democrat Dave Anderson, of Clinton, seeks re-election to the post, but was losing early to challenger Barry Sehlin, a Republican from Oak Harbor.

"I’m pleased with the early numbers," Sehlin said. "My feeling is that we’re headed in the right direction and it’s rewarding that we’ve had such a showing without having to engage in a single piece of negative campaign advertising. We’ve kept this a very positive thing and I think the smart voters respect that."

Sehlin spent three terms in the state Legislature, leaving in 1998 to help his wife, who was being treated for cancer.

When she recovered, Sehlin launched a campaign for Congress, hoping to replace U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf, R-Wash. He later allowed State Rep. John Koster to take the Republican nomination for Congress, and he decided to run for the state Legislature instead.

Anderson, a retired veterinarian who owns a golf course, wanted voters to return him to the Legislature, where he expected to be named chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Dean Brittain, the Libertarian candidate from Mount Vernon, was third in early returns.

In the Position 2 House race, incumbent Kelly Barlean, of Langley, had a strong lead over John McCoy, the Democratic challenger. McCoy, of Marysville, is executive director of governmental affairs for the Tulalip Tribes.

Barlean is credited with helping save the Whidbey Island Game Farm from development, and for the preservation of other forest land. He said his focus in the coming term will be to revamp the state’s property tax system.

He said his lead showed that voters in his district appreciated the job he is doing in Olympia.

"It’s a huge vote of confidence regarding the job I did last term," Barlean said. "This district stretches over three counties and includes the Navy base and two Indian tribes. I have worked hard to get to know the individual needs of all areas of the district ,which are very different from each other."

Lew Randall of Freeland, a Libertarian candidate, was in third place.

It came as no surprise that in the Senate race in the 10th District, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island was leading her Republican challenger, Norma Smith of Clinton. Smith is a special assistant to Metcalf.

Incumbent Haugen, a retired beauty salon owner, has served in Olympia since 1983, and is chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee, a powerful panel that decides priorities on state road construction projects.

She watched election returns at her home, where she was giving awards to her campaign workers.

"I have worked hard for the people and I appreciate their support," she said. "While these are early numbers, we’re very hopeful."

She is known for her work to protect clean water and air, and to limit sprawl.

Libertarian candidate Bradley Carey, of Mount Vernon, was third in early totals. Carey ran on a platform of less government and reducing taxes.

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