0804 primary 40th LD

From left, Rep. Debra Lekanoff, D-Bow; Rep. Alex Ramel, D-

Bellingham; and Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes. Ramel and Lovelett were leading their challengers in the primary election Tuesday; Lekanoff is unopposed for reelection. (Submitted photo)

State Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, and state Rep. Alex Ramel, D-Bellingham, were leading their Republican challengers Tuesday in their bids for full terms in the Legislature from the 40th District.

Senate candidates Lovelett and Charles Carrell, and House candidates Ramel and Russ Dzialo, were destined to advance to the general election as the only two candidates in their respective races. But the results were a possible forecast of what’s to come in the Nov. 3 general election.

As of 8:18 p.m. Tuesday, Lovelett received 5,391 votes, or 59.14%, to Carrell’s 3,713, or 40.73%. Ramel received 5,205 votes, or 58.08%, to Dzialo’s 3, 731, or 41.63%.

Some 80,694 ballots were mailed out, according to the Skagit County Auditor Elections Division; 19,566 ballots were counted as of Tuesday night and an estimated 18,000 remain to be counted.

State Rep. Debra Lekanoff, D-Bow, is unopposed for reelection. She received 5,699 votes in Tuesday’s primary.

During the primary, Lekanoff, Lovelett and Ramel presented themselves as a team – co-hosting virtual meetings with district residents, working together on budget priorities, and meeting with each other on a weekly basis.

“We want to lead in legislation that provides a prosperous economy, protects our beautiful environment right here at home, while firmly establishing Washington state’s place as a leader in the fight against climate change,” they wrote in an op-ed two weeks before the primary. “We will continue to collaborate on safe education policy and guidelines, essential workers protection and small businesses, and our homelessness and health care crisis.” 

Carrell, a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy, is a union president and former Republican precinct committee officer. In his candidate statement, he wrote that he is running for state Senate “because I feel that our current elected officials are not representing the will and best interests of the citizens. I believe we can provide our essential governmental functions more efficiently than we currently are by eliminating redundancy in government.”

Carrell wrote that he believes the Legislature needs to “find ways to address the concerns of our citizens that have come up in this latest pandemic, should any future issues arise that will have the potential to suspend our rights under the Constitution.”

He added, “I will devote myself to reviewing our governmental processes and systems to determine where we can consolidate programs and spend less. I will focus on the development of more efficient government without raising taxes. My goal is to ease the tax burden of private citizens and businesses in order to strengthen our economy.”

Dzialo and his wife are foster parents; he is also a Boy Scouts of America volunteer, teaching leadership and teamwork and leading environmental projects. In his candidate statement, he wrote that his priorities are to “take care of the environment and to do so while promoting a healthy economy. It will take smart leadership to bring our state economy back. We need a representative who will fight for the working class, especially now.”

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