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Primary Election 2020: Results from around Western Washington

An election worker sorts ballots at the Pierce County Election Center in Tacoma.
Parker Miles Blohm
An election worker sorts ballots at the Pierce County Election Center in Tacoma.

It's primary election day, and KNKX Public Radio has a roundup of some key local, state and federal races. Catch up on past coverage and view the latest results. (Last updated Aug. 7, 4:50 p.m.)  


Pierce County Sheriff

For the first time in nearly two decades, Washington’s second-largest county will welcome a new sheriff after Paul Pastor announced his intent to retire late last year. Before Pastor, the county’s longest-serving sheriff, the position was appointed — meaning it’s been even longer since voters have chosen who will lead the department. And the race is happening against a backdrop of police scrutiny

Four candidates — two insiders and two outsiders — are vying for the job: Ed Troyer, Pierce County Sheriff’s media relations officer who has spent his entire career with the department; Cyndie Fajardo, a lieutenant who has worked in Pierce County for 32 of her 36 years in law enforcement; Doug Richardson, a veteran and longtime politician who currently chairs the Pierce County Council (Richardson is term-limited out of his council seat); and Darin Harris, a veteran who has worked as a firefighter and police officer in Michigan and currently serves as a patrol supervisor for the Department of Defense. 

Latest results

Ed Troyer 53%, Cyndie Fajardo 20%, Doug Richardson 16%, Darin Harris 11%

Pierce County Council, District 3

Councilman Jim McCune is term-limited out of this seat, and is running for state Senate in the 2nd District (McCune previously served as a representative in that district from 2005, until he was elected to the Pierce County Council in 2013).

Four candidates seek to replace him in the largely rural district spanning central and eastern portions of the county: Republicans Amy Cruver and Joe Zaichkin, and Democrats Yanah Cook and Marcus Young.

Latest results

Amy Cruver 43%, Joe Zaichkin 21.45%, Marcus Young 20.84% (Zaichkin leads by 197 votes), Yanah Cook 15%

Pierce County Council, District 4

Connie Ladenburg also is term-limited out of her seat on the council, and the race also has attracted four candidates: Preston Anderson, a veteran and clinical social worker; Tim Farrell, who previously served two consecutive terms as a Pierce County Council member 2005-2013; Javier Figueroa, a University Place City Council member and former mayor; and former Tacoma City Council member Ryan Mello. 

Latest results

Ryan Mello 30%, Javier Figueroa 29.7% (Mello leads by 94 votes), Preston Anderson 25%, Tim Farrell 15% 


2nd District, House Position 2

Republican incumbent J.T. Wilcox, the House minority leader, faces two challengers in his re-election bid: Matt Marshall, a Republican school board member in Eatonville, and Veronica Whitcher Rockett, a Democrat who describes herself as a full-time caregiver for her family. District 2 spans the southern border of Pierce County and includes part of Thurston County.

Latest results (top two)

J.T. Wilcox 45%, Veronica Whitcher Rockett 31%

23rd District, House Position 1 

There are four candidates vying for this legislative seat, which represents northern Kitsap County and Bainbridge Island. Among them is Tarra Simmons, who has received a lot of press as someone who was formerly incarcerated and became a lawyer. Now, she’s seeking to become the first formerly incarcerated state lawmaker in Washington. Her challengers include: Bremerton City Council member Leslie J. Daugs, contractor and businessman Lou Krukar, and business owner April Ferguson, the only Republican in the race.  

Latest results (top two) 

Tarra Simmons 45%, April Ferguson 36%  

25th District, Senate 

Sen. Hans Zeiger is vacating this legislative seat to run for Pierce County Council (District 2). Seeking to replace him are: Republican Emmett Smith, an attorney; Puyallup Mayor Julie Door, a Democrat; and Rep. Chris Gildon, who currently serves the 25th District in the state House.   

Latest results (top two)

Chris Gildon 45%, Julie Door 44%

28th District, Senate

Incumbent Steve O’Ban has occupied this seat in the state Senate since 2013, and he faces a challenger who has a significant amount of money backing her bid to oust him. T’wina Nobles, a Democrat, has raised nearly $338,000, according to public disclosure filings. 

O’Ban has raised about $403,000. The Republican has faced scrutiny for a mailer that was sent in support of his campaign by a political action committee in which a photo of Nobles, a Black woman, appears to be darkened. Some critics called the mailer racist

O’Ban responded on Twitter, stating he hadn't seen the political advertisement for the first time until after it was sent out. 

“I categorically reject campaign pieces which alter the opponent’s photo,” he tweeted. “We are better than this. The voters want this campaign to be about the issues, results, and vision. I call on the persons responsible to not use similar tactics that have the potential to create division and pain and distract from the real issues facing working families.”

Latest results

T'wina Nobles 50%, Steve O'Ban 49%


10th District

A crowded field seeks to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Denny Heck. Heck is running for lieutenant governor, and 19 people are vying to take over the seat — which represents most of Pierce and Thurston counties and part of Mason County. Three Democrats have raised the most money in the race: Beth Doglio, a state lawmaker representing the 22nd District; former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who currently serves as president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; and former state lawmaker Kristine Reeves, who represented Washington’s 30th District. 

Latest results (top two)

Marilyn Strickland 21%, Beth Doglio 14% 



A whopping 35 people are challenging Gov. Jay Inslee, who is seeking a rare third term. Inslee has seen a dip in his approval ratings amid the coronavirus pandemic. But even the challengers most likely to make it through the primary significantly trail the governor, according to a recent Crosscut/Elway poll

Latest results

Republic Police Chief Loren Culp holds the number two slot in the governor's race, behind incumbent Jay Inslee (50%), with about 17% of the votes in early return. Although Tim Eyman had the highest statewide name recognition, the initiative promoter is polling at only about 7%.

Lieutenant governor

Cyrus Habib surprised many when he announced earlier this year that he was leaving elected office for the Catholic church. And 11 candidates are lined up to replace him, including U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, who is retiring from Congress after serving eight years in Washington’s 10th Congressional District.  

Latest results (top two)

Denny Heck 26%, Marko Liias 17%

Secretary of state

Incumbent Kim Wyman has been in the spotlight outside of Washington lately, as her own party — including President Donald Trump — has denounced increasing calls for mail-in voting amid the pandemic. Among several challengers looking to unseat her: Democratic state Rep. Gael Tarleton.

Latest results (top two) 

Kim Wyman 51%, Gael Tarleton 43%


King County elections

Pierce County elections

Thurston County elections

Snohomish County elections

Whatcom County elections

Skagit County elections

Kitsap County elections

Mason County elections

Lewis County elections

Grays Harbor County elections

Clallam County elections

Kari Plog is a former KNKX reporter who covered the people and systems in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties, with an emphasis on police accountability.