Brown, Klippert returning to Olympia. Kennewick councilman to join them

Washington State Capitol in Olympia
Washington State Capitol in Olympia McClatchy

Two incumbents and a newcomer, all Republicans, will be representing Kennewick, Richland and the rest of District 8 in the state Legislature.

In all three races, Republicans had strong leads following the initial vote count Tuesday.


Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, will serve four more years in the seat she’s held since 2013.

She received 68 percent of the ballots counted Tuesday, or 26,843 votes. Her opponent, Leo Perales of Kennewick received 32 percent, or 12,481 votes.

Perales lost ground after the primary when he took 34 percent of the vote. Brown had 61 percent of the vote then, with the remainder going to Libertarian candidate Ryan Cooper, who did not advance to the general election.

sharon brown
Sharon Brown

Brown, a business attorney, quickly rose to leadership positions in the Legislature, most recently being named the Senate’s deputy Republican leader.

She says she’s fought against wasteful spending, out-of-control budgets and burdensome regulations on small businesses.

But she has not forgotten Eastern Washington’s most vulnerable citizens, she said. She’s worked on suicide prevention and other mental health issues, support for the developmentally disabled, anti-human trafficking and expanding Meals on Wheels for seniors, she said.

Her opponent, Perales, is best known as a civic activist and has held leadership positions with the Kennewick Housing Authority and Benton County Planning Commission.

House Position 1

Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, is set to represent the 8th District for a sixth term in the Legislature.

He received 66 percent of the votes counted Tuesday, or 25,968. His opponent, Democrat Shir Regev, received 34 percent, or 13,373 votes.

Klippert picked up the votes from his Republican primary opponent, Phillip Lemley, who did not advance to the general election.

Brad Klippert TriCities

Klippert has said he will continue making public safety a priority. He has sponsored bills on issues brought to him by the law enforcement community.

He has 24 years of law enforcement experience, most recently as a Benton County sheriff’s deputy and a school resource officer.

He falls on the conservative end of the Republican spectrum on social issues, but says he is concerned about mental health issues.

He said at a League of Women Voters forum that he does not support the lifestyle of those who are gay and opposes same-sex marriage.

Regev is a Hanford senior health physics technician.

House Position 2

Kennewick City Councilman Matt Boehnke will be taking the position filled for 14 years by Larry Haler, who is retiring.

Boehnke, a Republican, received 67 percent of the vote to Democrat Christopher Tracy’s 33 percent.

The vote tally was 26,236 for Boehnke and 12,849 for Tracy.

Boehnke is a Tri-City native who returned home to lead the cybersecurity program at Columbia Basin College after retiring from the Army.

Matt Boehnke
Matt Boehnke File

Boehnke and Tracy were close in the August primary, with Boehnke receiving nearly 40 percent of the vote and Tracy receiving 37 percent.

But Boehnke picked up most of the votes cast in the primary for Republican Gregg McConnell, retired Tri-City Herald publisher, who did not advance to the general election.

Boehnke’s campaign focus was the economy, energy and education.

He called for decreasing unnecessary regulations that drive up costs, which he said would help create jobs and strengthen the economy.

Tracy, a retired educator and union negotiator, was a first-time political candidate and also a relative newcomer to the Tri-Cities. He moved to Richland a year ago, but has owned rental property in the Tri-Cities for a decade.

Annette Cary; 509-582-1533


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