District incumbents leading


Herald Writer

Two incumbents from the 39th District appear to have a ticket to return to Olympia, according to early returns Tuesday.

State Sen. Val Stevens, a Republican from Arlington, was leading political newcomer Fredda Smith, a Democrat from Arlington.

Stevens, most widely known for her critical view of the state’s Department of Social and Health Services, looked as if she will get a second term.

Her campaign focused on her experience as a legislator and on the fact that she can tackle large government agencies such as DSHS.

She was unavailable Tuesday for comment.

Smith said she wanted to go to Olympia to make improvements in the equity of school funding in all districts and to work on making the Growth Management Act functional.

Craig Chase, the Libertarian candidate in the race, came in third. He supported smaller government and tax reductions.

In the House races, Hans Dunshee, Democrat representative in the 39th District, Position 1, was edging out challenger Dan Kristiansen, a Republican from Snohomish.

"For all that got thrown at me (by his opponent) in this race, I’m happy that voters saw through it," Dunshee said.

He referred to comments by the Libertarian candidate that Dunshee did not support the U.S. Constitution.

"It’s early. But the numbers look good," he said.

The Libertarian candidate, Robert Donat, threw his support to Kristiansen shortly after the primary.

Dunshee ran on his experience as a legislator and his desire to fund school construction projects by allocating education dollars to the local districts. He also wants Snohomish County to get more gas tax money from the state to fund road construction.

Meanwhile, in the 39th District, Position 2 House race, a Snohomish city councilwoman apparently was headed for Olympia in January. Liz Loomis, who ran her first state-level campaign, led challenger Kirk Pearson, a Monroe Republican, in early returns.

She spoke from among campaign workers who gathered at Fred’s Rivertown Ale House in Snohomish.

"We’ve worked really hard," she said. "We doorbelled 43,000 homes, and we raised $173,000 to run this campaign. I feel great at the outcome, and I’m ready to go to Olympia and go to work for this district."

Loomis ran a campaign of "common sense," and supported transportation improvements that include both highways and transit funding. She supports getting more job-ready skills in public schools.

She said she plans to give up her seat on the city council if she goes to Olympia.

Pearson, a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf, R- Wash., was trailing Loomis, with Libertarian candidate Christine Lawniczak in third place.

Like other Libertarians, Lawniczak ran a campaign promising less government and lower taxes.

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