GOP incumbents in 26th, 35th Legislative Districts retain seats

Incumbents from Washington state’s 26th and 35th legislative districts will be returning to Olympia, based on general election results Nov. 8 from Kitsap, Pierce and Mason counties.

Jesse Young, Republican state House 26th District representative, is on his way to retaining his Position 1 seat with a 54.9 percent to 45.1 percent vote margin over Democratic challenger Larry Seaquist.

Votes from Kitsap and Mason counties for Young totaled 22,639 votes, 18,617 for Seaquist.

Seaquist, a veteran 26th District lawmaker who lost his bid for re-election to Michelle Caldier in 2014, took on Young for his Position 1 seat.

The eight-year incumbent filed a libel suit against Caldier in 2014 over comments the challenger made in campaign literature that year about an incident in which she had filed a police report.

Young was appointed to the seat in 2015 after Jan Angel, the Position 1 legislator, resigned the post to assume duties as the district’s state senator.

Young reached out on his Facebook page to voters who supported Seaquist: “Please know that I’m here to represent you, too, and will do so with the utmost integrity. I will be a dogged advocate for your rights.”

Caldier was challenged for a second term in her Position 2 seat by Democratic newcomer Randy Spitzer of Port Orchard. The incumbent prevailed by a 56.9 percent to 43.1 percent margin, 23,236 to 17,575 votes.

Spitzer, who attended an election party at Everybody’s American Cookhouse in Port Orchard, said his loss was partially impacted by the Republication sweep throughout the nation.

“We knocked on 20,000 doors in the district and worked hard, but we have to live with the results,” Spitzer said.

In the 35th District, incumbents Dan Griffey, Position 1 Republican, and Drew MacEwen, Position 2 Republican, also retained their seats. Griffey, a firefighter by trade, defeated Democrat Irene Bowling, a music instructor from the Bremerton area. MacEwen was challenged by newcomer Craig Patti, who like Griffey, also is a firefighter.

Griffey garnered 54.8 percent of the vote to Bowling’s 45.1 percent in Kitsap County. MacEwen received 55.7 percent of the vote to Patti’s 44.1 percent. The reelected incumbent from Position 1 attributed his win to the fact that “We stayed positive, we focused on the issues.”

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