McCabe, George to face off for 14th District House seat

By Justin Runquist, Columbian small cities reporter

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Republican Gina McCabe and Democrat Paul George will face off to succeed Rep. Charles Ross in the 14th Legislative District come the November general election.

First results show the two candidates emerged as the leaders in Tuesday night's primary vote. McCabe took the lead with 45.43 percent of the vote, and George followed with 30.11 percent. Their Republican competitors — 30-year-old Adam Yoest and 37-year-old Ben Shoval, who suspended his campaign too late to remove his name from the ballot — each won about 12 percent of the vote.

The 14th District covers a broad span of Central Washington, including all of Skamania and Klickitat counties, western Yakima County and crosses the Cascades to include a small portion of rural northeast Clark County.

George, a former Yakima mayor and councilor, hopes to become the first Democrat elected to represent the district since 1995. Now 84, George would also become one of the oldest people to ever serve in the Legislature if he beats McCabe in November.

McCabe, a 51-year-old businesswoman from Goldendale, edged ahead of her competitors in fundraising and picked up several high-profile endorsements from state lawmakers and former Republican Congressman Sid Morrison.

Ross, 43, is wrapping up his fourth term in the House. Instead of vying to keep his seat, he decided this winter to change course and run for Yakima County auditor.

Incumbent Rep. Norm Johnson, R-Yakima, will advance to the general election for the other 14th District position. Johnson, a 76-year-old former Yakima councilor and school administrator, is running unopposed on his way to a fourth term in the Legislature.