NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

State Senator Liz Lovelett leads in 40th LD special election, trailed by Daniel Miller

Recent­ly appoint­ed State Sen­a­tor Liz Lovelett (D‑40th Dis­trict: Ana­cortes) appears to be in a good posi­tion to defend her seat in the 40th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict, which includes San Juan Coun­ty and por­tions of What­com and Skag­it Coun­ties.

Lovelett joined the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate in Feb­ru­ary, a few weeks after Demo­c­ra­t­ic State Sen­a­tor Kevin Ranker abrupt­ly resigned. Ranker stepped down fol­low­ing alle­ga­tions that he harassed a female employ­ee.

Assum­ing she wins, Lovelett will again have to defend the seat again in a year when the posi­tion is nor­mal­ly con­test­ed. (State Sen­ate terms are for four years; the 40th LD elects its sen­a­tor in pres­i­den­tial cycles.)

Before serv­ing as State Sen­a­tor, Lovelett was on the Ana­cortes City Coun­cil, rep­re­sent­ing an at large posi­tion, Posi­tion #6, since 2013.

Lovelett’s chal­lengers are Daniel Miller, a Fri­day Har­bor Repub­li­can; Gre­ta Aitken, a Burling­ton Demo­c­rat; and Car­rie Black­wood, a Belling­ham Demo­c­rat.

Although she was a new­com­er to the Wash­ing­ton Leg­is­la­ture this year, six of Lovelett’s bills passed the State House and Sen­ate before mov­ing on to the Governor’s desk, includ­ing HB 2119, which pro­tects Blan­chard Moun­tain from log­ging and SB 5918, which intro­duced orca safe­ty edu­ca­tion in boat licens­ing. Lovelett is hop­ing to return to Olympia to work on fight­ing pol­lu­tion.

As of 8:48 PM, Lovelett had 6,125 votes in her col­umn. Black­wood was in sec­ond place with 3,876 votes, and Daniel Miller trailed in third place with 3,258 votes.

At that point, Skag­it Coun­ty had not report­ed any results at all.

Short­ly before 10 PM, Skag­it Coun­ty belat­ed­ly report­ed its first results. Lovelett remains in first place, but there has been a lead change for sec­ond. Repub­li­can Daniel Miller is now ahead of Black­wood. 

Here’s how the num­bers break down as of 9:50 PM:

  • Lovelett (incum­bent): 47.16%
  • Miller (Repub­li­can chal­lenger): 29.62%
  • Black­wood (Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger): 20.58%
  • Aitken (Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger): 1.55%
  • Write-in: 0.25%

Black­wood, also a Demo­c­rat, is run­ning for office for the first time and is cur­rent­ly a lawyer in Belling­ham, spe­cial­iz­ing in work­place law.

If elect­ed, Black­wood hopes to address income inequal­i­ty, as well as the cli­mate cri­sis. She sup­ports pro­gres­sive tax reform and a high­er min­i­mum wage.

Black­wood is backed by the Young Democ­rats of Wash­ing­ton and the Riv­et­ers Col­lec­tive, as well as a few unions.

As men­tioned, the top two vote get­ters from this elec­tion will move on to the Novem­ber 5th gen­er­al elec­tion, with the win­ner serv­ing through 2020.

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