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Local state legislators retain positions

Voters in the 15th and 14th legislative districts yesterday chose the incumbent candidates over all challengers in the general election.

15th District Representative, Position 2 has been held by David Taylor (R-Moxee) and he appears to be retaining the position, which was challenged by Democrat Pablo Gonzalez of Yakima.

Taylor received nearly 13,900 of the votes counted yesterday, whereas his challenger had nearly 7,900 of the 21,755 votes cast.

Republican Bruce Chandler of Granger ran unopposed and received 100 percent of the 17,758 votes for 15th District Representative, Position 1.

In the 14th Legislative District, Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima) also ran unopposed and received 100 percent of the votes cast in the election.

Representative Norm Johnson of Yakima appears to have been re-elected to position 1 in the 14th Legislative District. He has received nearly 21,700 votes and challenger Paul Spencer of Stevenson received just more than 12,000 of the votes cast thus far.

Incumbent Rep. Charles Ross (R-Naches) has a healthy lead over challenger Mathew Tomaskin (D-Wapato). Ross has received more than 22,000 of the 33,637 votes counted yesterday.

Political Director for the House Republicans Kevin Carns said it appears Republicans have picked up at least two seats in the House of Representatives. He believes Republicans have grabbed representative seats in the 30th and 35th districts.

"There is still one seat that is too close to call," he said, stating the 17th District in Clark County is still up for grabs, but projections are that seat will also be held by a Republican when the final tally is made.

"I'm very confident, but we are looking at a recount," said Carns.

He said the 28th District in Pierce County is another close race, but it is believed the Republican candidate there will also prevail.

In the Washington state Senate, Carns predicts Republicans will add another seat, but there is a possibility that the party may break even.

"We did fairly well, but to stay competitive we can never drop below 45 percent in the House," Carns said, stating that figure is the magic number for keeping the Democrats from gaining the overwhelming control of the House of Representatives.

"Friday's returns will be very telling," he added.

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