Local races might change the makeup of the state capitol next year, but just by a shade.
One Republican might be headed toward defeat in Tuesday’s state House races, while another narrowly trailed his Democratic challenger. A Dem-versus-Dem contest in another district looked like a lopsided win for the newcomer.
Democrat Jared Mead, at 27, could be on his way to becoming the youngest member of the state Legislature, if his lead holds. Mead was ahead 52.1 percent to 47.9 percent over incumbent Mark Harmsworth, R-Mill Creek.
“Our campaign was about a positive message,” said Mead, who focused on solutions to traffic congestion and crowded schools. “I’m confident that the trend is going to continue in our way. People wanted something new. They wanted something optimistic and fresh.”
Mead, who has served on the Mill Creek City Council for about a year, is competing for the 44th Legislative District, Position 2.
On Tuesday night, nearly 45 percent of the votes have been counted in Snohomish County, with the final turnout expected to exceed 75 percent. Updated totals are expected around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Before election night, Dems maintained an advantage of 50 to 48 seats in the House.
Incumbent Democratic state Reps. Derek Stanford of Bothell and Shelley Kloba of Kirkland picked up convincing wins Tuesday.
Stanford, who is seeking a fifth term, led Republican Josh Colver of Bothell with more than 69 percent of the ballot count, according to the Washington Secretary of State’s website.
Kloba, running for a second term, was far ahead of Republican Debra Blodgett of Snohomish, with 63.7 percent of the total. Blodgett is the chairwoman of the Snohomish County Republican Party.
The 1st District covers parts of King and Snohomish counties, including Bothell, Mountlake Terrace and Kirkland.
Two state House Republicans who represent corners of Snohomish and Skagit counties, plus all of Island County, were having mixed results in reversing primary losses to Democratic challengers.
Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, was leading Democrat Scott McMullen of Mount Vernon 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent. They are competing for Position 1.
Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island, lagged with 49.8 percent to 50.2 percent behind Dave Paul, a Democrat from Oak Harbor. They are competing for Position 2.
The 10th District includes the Stanwood area, Camano Island, Whidbey Island and La Conner.
Three Democrats in western Snohomish County easily held onto their seats.
Sen. Marko Liias, D-Everett, earned another four-year term as he throttled Republican Mario Lionel Lotmore of Mukilteo, 62.9 percent to 37.1 percent.
Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, won re-election over Republican Amy Schaper of Mukilteo, with 65.3 percent to 34.7 percent. Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-Mukilteo, also was cruising past Republican Petra Bigea, 64.7 percent to 35.3 percent.
The 21st District covers Mukilteo and parts of Edmonds, Everett and Lynnwood.
In an intraparty struggle, Democratic challenger Jesse Salomon was walloping incumbent Sen. Maralyn Chase in the 32nd District’s state senate race. Salomon, Shoreline’s deputy mayor, had 68.9 percent support to Chase’s 31.1 percent.
He appears poised to end Chase’s 16-year career as a lawmaker. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, where she served until she won a seat in the Senate in 2010.
While the two have many of the same political opinions, they differ in style. Salomon has said Chase’s combative personality hasn’t served the district well.
Chase described support for Salomon’s campaign, which includes contributions from Chevron and Monsanto, as “payback” from the 1 percent.
Meanwhile, in the house races, the Democrats easily defeated their Republican opponents.
Rep. Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline, was trouncing Republican Diodato Boucsieguez with more than 76 percent. Newcomer Lauren Davis, a mental health advocate, enjoyed a similar margin of 74.4 percent over Republican Frank Deisler for the district’s open Position 2.
The 32nd District straddles the border of Snohomish and King counties. It includes Edmonds, Lynnwood, Woodway and Shoreline, along with parts of Mountlake Terrace and Seattle.
Democratic state Sen. John McCoy appeared headed to re-election with a sizable lead on Republican Savio Pham, garnering 59.3 percent to 40.7 percent.
McCoy, a Tulalip resident, was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002. He was appointed to a vacant Senate seat in 2013 and won a full term in 2014. A member of the Tulalip Tribes, he is an Air Force veteran and retired general manager of Quil Ceda Village.
A reliable vote for progressive policies, McCoy overcame criticism he had become disengaged from district residents and questions of whether he would serve a full term if re-elected. In response, he said “there’s still work to be done.”
Pham, an Everett resident since this spring, was making his first bid for elected office.
Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett, looked to be returning to Olympia after defeating Independent candidate Bert Johnson of Tulalip, 60.9 percent to 39.1 percent.
Robinson was appointed to the position in 2013 and elected to a full term the next year. She works for Public Health — Seattle & King County.
In her tenure, she’s made her mark as one of the Democratic budget writers and an architect of the state’s paid family leave law.
Rep. Mike Sells of Everett also won re-election Tuesday. He was unopposed.
The 38th Legislative District encompasses Everett, Tulalip and part of Marysville.
Voters were retaining two Republican lawmakers appointed to their posts in the past year, and giving another Republican his first win after several attempts for other offices.
Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, named to his seat in January, led Democrat Claus Joens of Marblemount, 58.1 percent to 41.9 percent. Wagoner, the former Sedro-Woolley mayor, will serve a four-year term.
Rep. Carolyn Eslick, named to her seat last fall, was ahead of Eric Halvorson of Monroe, 58.2 percent to 41.8 percent. Eslick, the former mayor of Sultan, will earn a two-year term with a victory.
Republican Robert Sutherland of Granite Falls was solidly ahead of Democrat Ivan Lewis in the contest to succeed Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, who is retiring at the end of his term. Sutherland garnered 56.3 percent of Tuesday’s ballot count to Lewis’ 43.7 percent.
This marks Sutherland’s fourth election since 2014. He ran for Congress that year, and again in 2016. He also made an unsuccessful bid for Snohomish County executive in 2015.
The 39th District takes in rural areas of Snohomish and Skagit counties, and a sliver of King County. It includes the cities of Arlington, Monroe, Sultan, Gold Bar and Index.
Rep. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, pushed back Republican Jeff Sax of Snohomish, 56.9 percent to 43.1 percent. Lovick, a former county sheriff and county executive, is now on his way to a second term in his second tour in the Legislature. That contest grew nasty after Sax released official documents from the 1990s about abuse allegations against Lovick. The case resulted in no charges and the purported victim said it never happened.
Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, overcame the spirited challenge of Republican Doug Roulstone of Snohomish to capture a fourth term. He garnered 55.9 percent in Tuesday’s count.
Senate Republicans targeted Hobbs in the primary, hitting his voting record in a series of commercials and mailers.
The 44th District covers Lake Stevens, Mill Creek and Snohomish, part of Marysville and the outskirts of Everett.