Trio of Democrats lead in 49th District races

Moeller, Wylie, Cleveland all comfortably ahead of opponents

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 
photoState Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver

Democrats competing for legislative seats in the 49th district find themselves in comfortable positions after Tuesday night's first count of ballots.

Both state Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, and state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, took more than 60 percent of the vote after the first count. Both are incumbents.

Wylie declared victory Tuesday night, saying she believes her lead over Republican challenger Debbie Peterson is insurmountable. Wylie took 60.45 percent of the vote after the first count.

"I'm feeling great right now," Wylie said. "I've won by a bigger margin than I had hoped. And I feel fortunate to represent such a supportive district."

Wylie said she plans to stand on one of the bridges in Vancouver on Wednesday evening with a "thank you" sign displayed to commuters.

Moeller, who leads over Vancouver Republican challenger Carolyn Crain, said he isn't calling it a win yet. Moeller had 60.79 percent of the vote after the first count.

"I always wait until it's over," Moeller said. "I am feeling pretty good about it. It's tremendous, it's very humbling to continue to have the support and confidence of the 49th."

Vancouver Democrat Annette Cleveland leads in her bid for state senator with 58.75 percent of the vote. She leads over Vancouver Republican Eileen Qutub, who received 41.05 percent.

Messages left for Cleveland on Tuesday night were not returned as of press time.

The 49th District includes Vancouver west of Interstate 205 and south of Felida.

About 57 percent of the ballots mailed to the district's registered voters were counted as of Tuesday evening. Elections officials have predicted an 81 percent voter turnout in Clark County.