Debra Lekanoff and Michael Petrish lead in the primary race for a 40th Legislative District state House of Representatives seat after initial results were released Tuesday.

Lekanoff, a Democrat and government affairs director for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, holds 28 percent of the vote.

Petrish, a Republican and union carpenter, is in second with about 20 percent of the vote but has two close followers who are each within 300 votes of him.

The 40th district encompass San Juan County, southwestern Whatcom County and northeastern Skagit County.

Lekanoff said the early results show the 40th district wants someone who has promised to unite the district, like she has promised to do.

“If this trend continues, we’ll have a really good chance (in the general election),” she said.

Lekanoff was endorsed by state Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, who has held this seat since 2010 but is not seeking re-election.

If her lead is cemented when the election is certified Aug. 24, she said she believes Democrats in the district will support her.

She said she’s enormously grateful to the district, and she’s excited to represent and take care of such a beautiful place, if elected.

At 20 percent of the vote, Petrish’s position in second place is precarious, as Democrats Rud Browne and Alex Ramel are both within 1 percent of him.

“It’s a tight race for second,” Petrish said. “It’s a good place to be.”

As the 40th district rarely elects Republicans, Petrish said he can’t rely on only his party’s support to win in a general election. However, he said his coalition of support extends past his party, to voters who are frustrated with modern politics.

“My goal is to win this for those that are dissatisfied with the (political) process,” he said.

An updated ballot count is expected later this week.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH{p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”}

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