Republicans on Tuesday were sailing to victory in three state House races in the Tri-Cities area.
Republican incumbent William “Bill” Jenkin had a wide lead over Democratic challenger Everett Maroon for Pos. 1 in the 16th Legislative District, while Republican Skyler Rude was beating Democrat Rebecca Francik in the race for Pos. 2.
And in the Ninth Legislative District, Republican incumbent Mary Dye was leading Democratic challenger Jenn Goulet.
Jenkin v. Maroon
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Jenkin, from Prosser, had 19,512 votes, or 65 percent, to Maroon’s 10,663 votes, or 35 percent, after the first round of returns.
Results will be updated over the next several days as more ballots are counted.
Jenkin, a financial adviser and winery owner, served three years on the Prosser School Board before winning the House seat in 2016.
Maroon of Walla Walla is executive director of Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, a healthcare-focused nonprofit.
He previously worked for the Social Security Administration.
The 16th district covers Columbia, Walla Walla and parts of Benton and Franklin counties.
Francik v. Rude
Rude, from Walla Walla, had 18,959 votes, or 63 percent, to Francik’s 11,257 votes, or 37 percent.
The race doesn’t have an incumbent, as longtime Rep. Terry Nealey is retiring.
Rude worked in insurance before joining the staff of state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, as a legislative assistant — a post he left to run for office.
Francik is a teacher and librarian in Pasco and spent nearly 20 years on the Pasco City Council.
They’ve faced off before, both running in 2016 for the Pos. 1 seat now held by Jenkin.
Dye v. Goulet
Dye had a handy lead on election night, with 22,681 votes, or 68 percent, to Goulet’s 10,838 votes, or 32 percent.
Dye was appointed to the Ninth District seat in 2015 and won election the following year.
She co-manages a wheat farm near Pomeroy.
Goulet, of Pasco, develops online training for Microsoft. She previously challenged Dye in 2016 for the House seat.
The Ninth District covers Adams, Asotin, Garfield, Whitman and parts of Franklin and Spokane counties.