County’s election results certified

November 28, 2018 GMT

MOUNT VERNON — With Skagit County and other area counties certifying Nov. 6 election results Tuesday, Democrats flipped a reliably Republican seat in the state House of Representatives.

In a narrow victory, Democrat Dave Paul will go on to Olympia next year to represent the 10th Legislative District, replacing three-term Republican Dave Hayes.

Paul won the race by 685 votes.

“We knew it was going to be a close race because it’s always difficult to beat an incumbent,” Paul said.

He said the 10th District, which includes Island County, southwest Skagit County and northwest Snohomish County, is less Republican than it has been in the past.

“I have been saying for 10 months that this is a moderate, purple district,” he said. “My election shows that’s true.”

Paul said he believes his constituents want action on providing behavioral health services.

He said he and his campaign workers talked to thousands of voters ahead of the election, and he said he feels rewarded for the hard work.

“It feels good to put in all that work and end up ahead,” he said.

The last time the 10th District elected a Democrat to the state House was in 1998.

In the race for Skagit County Superior Court judge, incumbent Laura Riquelme was sworn in Tuesday after defeating Skagit County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula.

Riquelme will serve out the remaining two years of former judge Michael Rickert’s term. She was appointed to replace Rickert in 2017.

“It’s definitely an honor,” she said. “Even now, just last night at the store, people were walking up to me and congratulating me.”

Riquelme won with 54 percent of the vote to Kaholokula’s 46 percent.

One of her goals in office, Riquelme said, is to help make the court system more accessible for those working through it, by making documents more easily available online.

No race results on the Skagit County ballot changed since results were first released on election night.

In other Skagit County races, Sandy Perkins won the race for county auditor, Jackie Brunson for county treasurer and Joe Lindquist for Skagit Public Utility District commissioner.

The county charter measure failed to pass as did a bond for the Sedro-Woolley School District, while a sales tax to fund the Anacortes Transportation Benefit District passed.

In state Legislature races, other winners were Norma Smith (10th District, House), Keith Wagoner (39th District, Senate), Robert J. Sutherland (39th District, House), Carolyn Eslick (39th District, House) and Debra Lekanoff (40th District, House).

Cecily Hazelrigg-Hernandez won the race for a seat on the state Court of Appeals, while national legislators Maria Cantwell (Senate), Suzan DelBene (House, District 1) and Rick Larsen (House, District 2) earned re-election.

Election turnout in Skagit County was about 73 percent, with 55,583 ballots counted, according to the Skagit County Elections Department website.

— Skagit Valley Herald reporter Leah Allen contributed to this report.