Local Democrats sweep election

All incumbents retain seats, return to Olympia and D.C.
By Brandon Gustafson | Nov 14, 2018

The Nov. 6 general election has passed, and it appears the citizens of Mukilteo will again be represented by members of the Democratic Party for the time being.

All three representatives of the 21st Legislative District – Sen. Marko Liias, Rep. Strom Peterson, and Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self – cruised to victory in their respective races, all receiving over 60 percent of votes.

In the larger races, those who will be representing Mukilteo and other Washington citizens in Washington, D.C., both incumbents on the ballot – U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen – defeated their opponents handily, retaining seats they both have held since 2001.

21st Legislative District – State Senator

In perhaps the most interesting race on Mukilteo voters’ ballots, Liias will return to Olympia in 2019, bringing in nearly 63 percent of the vote.

His opponent, Mario Lotmore, a Republican who lives in Mukilteo, received just under 37 percent.

Liias won in spite of his name being brought up at Mukilteo City Hall frequently the fast few months, as Mukilteo City Councilmember Scott Whelpley raised questions over payment Liias received as part of his severance.

Whelpley made a public records request for separation agreements between the city of Mukilteo and some former employees, including Liias.

Liias, who worked for the city from 2014 to 2017 as its policy analyst, received three months of severance in one lump sum, as opposed to the city’s policy, which says employees fired without cause are entitled to two months’ severance, paid in accordance with the city’s payroll.

Liias also received over $6,300 for tuition reimbursement for courses he took at the University of Washington. At the time of his separation, the City did not have his transcript or receipt, which is required for payment.

Liias has since presented that to the City, and told The Beacon he had asked City officials if they needed that paperwork at the time of his dismissal.

Lotmore brought the payment from the City up a number of times, and even held a “return the money” event at Mukilteo City Hall with a handful of supporters the Saturday before Election Day.

Liias has served in the state Senate since 2014, and prior to that, he served in the state House of Representatives.

Liias told The Beacon he is thrilled with how his fellow Democrats fared in the election, and that he is excited to be heading back to Olympia in 2019.

“I am deeply grateful to voters in the 21st District for their overwhelming support to re-elect me as your state senator. I am so proud that our positive campaign, focused on the issues, won decisively – as did so many progressive candidates and ballot measures across the state,” he said.

“Now, I’m eager to get back to Olympia and champion legislation that will put people first.

“I’m already hard at work on groundbreaking student loan relief and reform options, new ways to protect our environment, creating more jobs and apprenticeship programs, investing in innovative transportation solutions, and so much more.”

21st Legislative District – Representative Position 1

Peterson succeeded in his bid for reelection, receiving over 65 percent of the vote. His opponent, Republican Amy Schaper, brought in 34 percent.

Peterson, an Edmonds resident and business owner, started his first term in 2015, and serves as vice chair of the Environment and Capital Budget Committees and as a member of the Local Government Committee.

“I am thankful to the people of the 21st District for allowing me to continue to work on the issues important to our communities,” he said. “It is crucial that we address climate change and respond to our orca crisis, and that means passing legislation that invests in renewable energy, prevents oil spills, and reduces waste, including single use plastics.”

Peterson has also been on the forefront of fighting the opioid epidemic in the state, starting a drug take-back program.

“The opioid epidemic will also be a top priority as it continues to take too many lives across the state,” Peterson said. “While we have made progress, we simply must do better at funding treatment and prevention.”

Peterson will serve a two-year term, and be up for reelection in 2020.

21st Legislative District – Representative Position 2

Ortiz-Self, a Mukilteo resident, has served as a state representative since being appointed in 2014. She received just over 65 percent of the vote, while her opponent, Republican Petra Bigea, received slightly less than 35 percent.

Ortiz-Self is a counselor in the Everett School District, and all of her children have attended Mukilteo schools.

“I am so humbled and honored to be re-elected to serve such a wonderful district. I want everyone to know that I have heard your message,” she said.

“Whether I was at the senior center or on college campuses, speaking with students or parents, hearing stories from constituents who are getting their GED or those applying for law school, our first responders to our most vulnerable – the message repeated itself.

“I heard the resounding desire to be able to take care of yourself, achieve your fullest potential, and pay your fair share.

“I heard a fear towards the ugliness and intolerance that has risen in the last two years, and a hope for something better. And I heard compassion for our most vulnerable that made me so proud to represent this community.”

2nd Congressional District - U.S. Representative

Larsen will be returning to Washington, D.C., for his 10th term. Larsen received over 72 percent of the vote in his race, while his opponent, Libertarian Brian Luke, received nearly 28 percent.

Larsen serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.

Shortly after the results came in on Nov. 6, Larsen released a statement, thanking his supporters for re-electing him.

"This seat belongs to the people of the 2nd District, and I am humbled and honored that they have given me the privilege of representing this district for another two years,” Larsen said.

“First of all, I want to thank the volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly, not only for my campaign but for local Democratic candidates across the 2nd District. Your dedication, long hours, countless calls and canvassing efforts have made the Blue Wave a reality.”

Larsen said the result of the Nov. 6 election, which flipped the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of Democrats, speaks loudly to how the citizens of the United States feel.

“Tonight’s decisive victories across the country are a clear rebuke of Trump’s personality-driven politics. More importantly, they are a reflection of what we can do together, to overcome hate and divisiveness, and build a better future for all Americans,” he said.

"We claim that victory today, but tomorrow we're back to getting things done.”

Larsen acknowledged there is work to be done in the 2nd District.

“That means bringing middle-class families better jobs and higher wages, and to give people the tools they will need to succeed in the 21st century, by investing in our transportation infrastructure, expanding access to STEM education and skills training, and ensuring the next generation of workers has the tools they need to compete in a global marketplace.”

U.S. Senator

Cantwell, an Edmonds resident, returns to Washington, D.C., for a fourth term in 2019 after defeating Republican Susan Hutchison, former chair of the state’s Republican Party, and a former KIRO 7 news anchor.

Cantwell received nearly 59 percent of the vote, while Hutchison received 41 percent.

Cantwell is the junior U.S. senator, and represents Washington in the U.S. Senate with Patty Murray.

She serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, as well as the Science and Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources, Finance, Indian Affairs, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees.

Votes are certified Nov. 27. Look for a story on ballot measures, including I-1639 regarding increased gun restrictions, in next week’s edition of The Beacon.


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