Incumbents pull into the lead


Herald Writer

In early returns, it looked like voters in the 38th District, which includes Marysville and Everett, were favoring sending familiar faces back to the state Legislature.

For the Position 1 seat, incumbent Rep. Aaron Reardon, D-Everett, held a healthy lead over Republican challenger Allen Huang. Libertarian Blythe Brockway was bringing in a small percentage of the vote.

"I’ve represented the district to the best of my ability, managed not to be concerned with negative campaigning and focused on the issues that matter to my constituents," Reardon said, and attributed his lead to his grass-roots door-to-door campaigning

If re-elected, Reardon said he’d continue to work on education, clean water, transportation and job creation issues.

Huang, a computer engineer from Marysville, said he was lagging because of a lack of name recognition and little support from his party.

"Even if he wins the race, I won the campaign because I did it solely by myself," Huang said.

Huang said if he loses, he will continue looking at some of the issues he addressed in his campaign — education, transportation and taxes, and understanding them better.

He also said he plans to take on Reardon again in an election and will continue looking into whether the city of Everett violated any laws in hiring Reardon as a project coordinator after he was elected the first time.

Reardon has consistently said he was offered a city job before he was elected to the House.

Brockway, a secretary in the emergency room at Providence Everett Medical Center, was running largely on the standard Libertarian platform.

For the Position 2 seat, Rep. Pat Scott, D-Everett, was way ahead of her closest opponent, Reform Party candidate Gregory Dean Lemke. Libertarian Howard Gross was trailing Lemke.

Scott, who has held her seat for 16 years, said her lead was due partly to the fact that she had no Republican opponent. She also said that if she is re-elected it will be because "I go down there and do my job and don’t try to catch headlines or be a star."

"I work quietly and build consensus and get things done," Scott said.

Scott said she would focus her efforts on transportation issues and coming up with workable shoreline and coastal management plans.

Lemke, the only Reform Party candidate in the county, said the early results saddened him because the Democratic Party doesn’t offer voters the independence his party does.

He also said his campaign suffered from divisiveness the Reform Party showed at its national convention. He said he was at a disadvantage trying to run his campaign without financial support from special interests.

Although this was his second election bid against Scott, he said it won’t be his last. Next time, however, he plans to run as a Republican.

"I’ll jump in the mud with the rest of them," Lemke said.

Gross, a retired foreign diplomat, said of his single-digit percentages in the early returns, "That’s not bad."

"It’s a beginning when you’re running against a one-party county. You have to chip away at it," he said.

Gross, 72, said his concern with the growing power of the federal government was what motivated him to run.

"Everyone should be concerned about whether we’re free and independent people or serfs who are told what to do from Washington, D.C.," Gross said.

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