Pike, Shehorn move on in 18th District race

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Republican Liz Pike and Democrat David Shehorn will advance in the 18th District Position 2 House race, according to preliminary returns in Tuesday's primary election.

Meanwhile, Democrat Monica Stonier and Republican Julie Olson advanced to the general election in the 17th District Position 1 House race, while incumbent state Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, and Republican John Braun advanced in the 20th District Senate race.

In preliminary returns, Pike received 59 percent of the vote, Shehorn received more than 31 percent of the vote, and the other candidate in the race, Democrat Ryan Gompertz, was eliminated after receiving about 9 percent of the vote.

Pike said she was humbled by the preliminary election results.

"To all the people who voted, I am very, very appreciative, and I need them to do it again on Nov. 6," she said by phone on Tuesday evening. Pike also said she was encouraged to see a 59 percent return, given that she calculates that the 18th District is 58 percent Republican.

Shehorn did not immediately return a call on Tuesday night.

Both the 17th and 18th districts are exclusively in Clark County.

Benton, Probst advance

In one of the county's most competitive legislative races, 17th District state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, just barely had the lead on Tuesday night over his lone challenger, state Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver. Benton pulled in 50.35 percent of the vote, according to the preliminary results, while Probst received 49.45 percent of the vote.

There were roughly 15,000 ballots left to be tallied, Clark County officials said Tuesday night. The next election totals will be released at about 5 p.m. today.

Benton and Probst didn't have to worry about getting eliminated in Tuesday's primary election, because they were the only two running. But the primary results could provide an indication of who the voters favor so far.

Primary results released Tuesday show that Stonier has a lead of seven percentage points over Olson. Stonier received 47 percent of the vote, according to Tuesday's tally, while Olson received about 40 percent. Republican Matthew Homola, the only other candidate in that House race, was eliminated from the race after receiving 12 percent of the vote.

Throughout the 20th District, Swecker pulled in more than 45 percent of the vote, Braun of Centralia received more than 41 percent of the vote, and Republican Rae Lowery of La Center didn't make the cut for the general election. Lowery received about 13 percent of the vote.

But in the north Clark County portion of the 20th District, Swecker did not appear to be the favorite candidate. About 43 percent of Clark County voters picked Braun, 32 percent picked incumbent Swecker and more than 21 percent chose Lowery. "I'm glad I'm in the top two, and I'm glad I'm ahead in the district," Swecker said on Tuesday evening, but he added: "I was a little surprised about Clark County."

Additionally, it appears Republican Brandon Vick, who received 59 percent of the vote, will remain unopposed in the Nov. 6 general election after all. He was listed on the primary ballot next to Republican Adrian Cortes, who has since dropped out of the race.

Write-in Republican candidate Peter Silliman was trying to get his name on the ballot next to Vick's, but write-in candidates in that race had pulled in only 8 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Cortes received nearly 33 percent of the vote and so will be on the November ballot.

Legislators make $42,106 a year and can collect a $90-a-day per diem when on official business.