Lovick and Schmidt winning

By JIM HALEY

Herald Writer

A freshman legislator from Mill Creek apparently will get a second two-year term in the House, according to preliminary election results.

Democrat John Lovick was leading by several percentage points late Tuesday despite a spirited challenged from Irene Endicott, 66, also of Mill Creek. She’s a Republican who called for better schools and local control of state education funds.

Lovick was leading in Position 2 for the 44th Legislative District. A Libertarian, Jesse Brocksmith, 28, trailed behind the two major-party candidates.

In the Position 1 race, three-term incumbent Dave Schmidt, R-Bothell, had a substantial lead over his challenger, Democrat Kerry Watkins, 38, a Boeing Co. machinist from Everett.

Lovick said he won with hard work, his organization and the message that he’d done a good job in his first term.

"I’m someone the people know they can trust and depend on," Lovick said. "I think I’ve been a good representative."

Schmidt said he’s glad to earn another term, but the Legislature will have its work cut out for it next session. Some of the initiatives likely to pass on this ballot, including teacher salary increases, will cost the state a lot of money.

"We won’t have enough budget surplus with the initiatives passing," Schmidt said.

The Legislature may have to cut services or increase taxes to pay the bill, he added.

The Republicans battled hard to defeat Lovick, 49, a former Mill Creek councilman, who in 1998 bested conservative Republican Rep. Bill Thompson in the sprawling, suburban district.

GOP funding sources pumped more than $40,000 into Endicott’s campaign, sensing a chance to break a 49-49 tie in the state House. But the Democrats equaled that amount for Lovick, who eventually won the war-chest war by raising $152,000 to Endicott’s $91,000.

Lovick’s campaign message centered on the main problem facing the rapidly growing district: traffic congestion.

The Position 1 tussle was not expected to be close.

Schmidt, 46, spent around $50,000 in the race. He had nearly 60 percent of the vote total in the September primary, while two Democrats shared the rest.

Watkins’ campaign hit a snag after the primary when he issued a public apology to Schmidt for using erroneous claims about the incumbent’s record of successfully getting bills through the Legislature.

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