Democrats sweep south Snohomish County legislative races

By Evan Smith

Democrats swept Tuesday elections in the 1st, 21st and 32nd legislative districts after a tumultuous election season.

The Democrats held on to all three positions in the 1st District after an expensive and divisive intraparty battle to replace retiring state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe and after a four-way primary for an open House seat.

Democrat Guy Palombo led the general-election contest to replace McAuliffe by a 58 percent to 42 percent margin over Republican Mindie Wirth in results reported through Friday morning. Palumbo had defeated Democratic State Rep. Luis Moscoso in a hard-fought August primary, after which Moscoso and many of his supporters declined to endorse Palumbo.

In the race to replace Moscoso for a seat in the state House of Representatives, Democrat Shelley Kloba led Republican Jim Langston 56 percent to 43 percent. Kloba had defeated three other Democrats in the primary.

Democratic State Rep. Derek Stanford will be the only incumbent to win in the district. He led Republican Neil Thannisch 62 percent to 38 percent.

The 1st Legislative District includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County northeast of Bothell, including the Maltby area.

In the 32nd Legislative District incumbent Democratic State Reps. Ruth Kagi and Cindy Ryu both won decisively. Kagi led Republican David Schirle 74 percent to 26 percent, despite Kagi not being endorsed by the 32nd District Democratic organization. Ryu led Republican Al Rutledge 77 percent to 23 percent. Incumbent 32nd District Democratic State Sen. Maralyn Chase is in the middle of a four-year term.

The 32nd District includes the city of Lynnwood, parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, the city of Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle.

In the 21st Legislative District, incumbent Democratic State Reps. Lillian Ortiz-Self and Strom Peterson both won easily. Ortiz-Self defeated Republican challenger Jeff Scherrer by a 63-37 percent margin. Peterson defeated Libertarian Alex Hels by a 73-27 percent margin in a race where no Republican ran. Incumbent 21st District Democratic State Sen. Marco Liias is in the middle of his term.

The 21st District includes most of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood and northeast of Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of South Everett.

Evan Smith can be reached at

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