Two Democratic incumbents, both with long political résumés, took the lead in their 49th District House races after Tuesday night’s primary results were tallied.
Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, received 56.08 percent of the votes Tuesday night in the 49th Legislative District, Position 1 race and Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, garnered 55.59 percent in his effort to retain his 49th Legislative District, Position 2 seat.
Wylie was pleased with the results. “If it holds up, it will be good news,” she said.
It looks likely that Republican Anson Service will continue to the general election, and face Wylie in November. Service received 36.33 percent of the vote, with Scott Dalesandro, who stated no party preference, bringing in 7.45 percent. Wylie was appointed to the state Legislature in April 2011 and elected in November 2011. She served as a lawmaker in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1993 to 1998. If re-elected, Wylie said she would work to improve consumer protections, particularly when it comes to the elderly.
Service said if elected, he would work to be transparent to his constituents. He blasted Wylie for being too entrenched in the political world.
Moeller said he was surprised at the results because he had expected Carolyn Crain, a Republican who has challenged Moeller before, to be the one likely to face him in November. But on Tuesday night, Republican Lisa Ross, a certified public accountant, had captured 26.38 percent of the vote, to Crain’s 17.87 percent.
The 49th District leans Democratic. Moeller, arguably Southwest Washington’s most liberal legislator, has been elected six consecutive times and is currently House speaker pro tempore.
Moeller said between now and November, he’ll continue to talk to voters about where he stands on the proposed oil-by-rail terminal, transportation issues and how the state should adequately fund its public schools.
“I feel confident,” Moeller said.
Ross said in an earlier interview with The Columbian that voters should choose her because she has more crossover appeal than Crain and a better shot at ousting Moeller.
On Tuesday night, Crain wasn’t conceding a third-place finish, noting that there are many ballots left to be counted.
“I knocked on way too many doors to not be taking this one home,” she said.