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Strong showings for incumbent lawmakers; opponents clear

Brian Blake, left, and Hugh Fleet
Brian Blake, left, and Hugh Fleet
Steve Tharinger
Steve Tharinger
Thomas Greisamer
Thomas Greisamer

Incumbents for the Legislature and Congress all had strong showings on Tuesday night, while their opponents in the November General Election became clear after the first tally of primary election ballots.

In all races, the top two vote-getters advance to November. Tallies for the lawmakers representing Grays Harbor and Pacific counties left no cliffhangers after Tuesday’s initial count.

19th District

Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, is well on his way to the General Election ballot after collecting 60.4 percent (12,890 votes). His opponent will be retired South Bend communications specialist Hugh Fleet.

Fleet, a Republican, tallied 30.2 percent of the vote for the second spot on the November ballot. Grayland cranberry grower James O’Hagan was the odd man out, after gathering just 9.4 percent.

In the other 19th District race, Rep. Dean Takko, D-Longview, and his opponent, Libertarian David Steenson of Longview, both will advance to the General Election. In initial primary returns, Takko has a wide lead over Steenson, tallying 71.5 percent (14,551 votes).

24th District

Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, joined his fellow incumbents by comfortably advancing to November, garnering 57.2 percent (16,644 votes) on Tuesday night.

Republican Thomas Greisamer will oppose him in the General Election after the retired psychologist from Moclips collected 35.1 percent. Sequim neurologist and Libertarian Stafford Conway will not advance after collecting just 7.7 percent.

Tharinger’s 24th District seat-mate, Sequim Democrat Kevin Van De Wege, is running unopposed.

Congress

First-term Democratic Congressman Derek Kilmer will face a familiar foe in his bid for re-election in the 6th Congressional District.

Kilmer easily passed through to the General Election, garnering nearly 59 percent (66,932 votes) districtwide, as did Republican Marty McClendon, who captured 34.1 percent of the vote.

McClendon, a Gig Harbor real estate agent, ran against Kilmer in a 2010 state Senate race, which Kilmer won.

W. (Greybeard) McPherson of Port Angeles and Green Party candidate Douglas Milholland of Port Townsend garnered less than 4 percent each. In Grays Harbor County, the results mirrored the entire district very closely.

Meantime, 3rd District Ridgefield Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is also headed to the General Election after leading with 48.4 percent of the vote.

Her opponent will be Democrat Bob Dingethal of Vancouver, a former telecommunications executive and executive director of the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, which works to protect the national forest lands around Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams. Dingethal garnered 38.8 percent.

The third candidate in the race, Republican Michael Delavar of Washougal, a Horizon Airlines pilot and former Washougal city councilman, tallied just 12.9 percent.