Two More NFIB Members Elected to State House

Date: November 13, 2018

Chambers, Goehner amplify Voice of Small Business in the Legislature

Election 2018 won’t be certified until late November, but current vote counts show Democrats will increase their majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature.

If current trends hold, Democrats will likely control the Senate by a margin of 27-22, and the House 57-41.

Despite the blue wave that hit Puget Sound this cycle, 28 of 32 legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB Washington PAC, our political-action arm, are headed toward victory. In addition, I-1631, the carbon tax initiative NFIB opposed, was defeated by voters, 43.5 percent in favor to 56.5 percent against.

State Senate

Democrats are poised to boost their senate majority by at least two seats, defeating Republican Sens. Mark Miloscia (30th District) and Joe Fain (47th District). They could pick up two more when all the votes are tallied. Sen. Doug Ericksen (42nd District) leads by just 72 votes, and Republican Marty McClendon has a 134-vote advantage over Democrat Emily Randall in the 26th District race to succeed Republican Sen. Jan Angel.

An Ericksen loss would be a blow to small business. He has long been a supporter of NFIB, often quoting our data and positions on the senate floor. Ericksen earned an 80 percent score on our most recent legislative voting record. The loss of Miloscia and Fain will be less of an impact; both scored just 40 percent on that same voting record. And, Fain was prime sponsor of the Paid Family & Medical Leave mandate, which NFIB strongly opposed.

State House

House Democrats will expand their majority, but with a half-dozen contests still too close to call, the question is by how much. Republicans lead with less than 51 percent of the vote in four races, while Democrats are ahead by similar margins in two others.

Rep. Mark Hargrove (47th District), who scored 100 percent on our last voting record, has been unseated, as has NFIB member Rep. Mark Harmsworth (44th District). Harmsworth voted with NFIB 80 percent of the time on that same voting record. Two Republicans scoring just 50 percent on our voting record are headed for defeat, Reps. Paul Graves (5th District) and Dick Muri (28th District).

Among those incumbents still in the toss-up category are three who voted with NFIB 80 percent on our priority bills, Reps. Vicki Kraft (17th District), Jim Walsh (19th District), and Luanne Van Werven (42nd District). All three hold narrow leads in their races.

Rep. Dave Hayes (10th District), who trails in his race, scored 78 percent on our last voting record. Rep. Vincent Buys (42nd District), who again scored 100 percent on NFIB’s voting record, is also being outpolled by his challenger.

NFIB Members in the Legislature

On a brighter note, NFIB members Keith Goehner (12th District) and Kelly Chambers (25th District) have been elected to the state House of Representatives. Chambers also serves on NFIB’s Washington Leadership Council. Both are Republicans. They will replace fellow Republicans, Reps. Cary Condotta, himself a former NFIB member, and Melanie Stambaugh, respectively.

They will join nearly a dozen other NFIB members serving in the Legislature, including Reps. Andrew Barkis and JT Wilcox (both 2nd District), Joe Schmick (9th District), Tom Dent (13th District), and Drew MacEwen (35th District), as well as Sens. Guy Palumbo (1st District), Mark Mullet (5th District), Barbara Bailey (10th District), Brad Hawkins (12th District), Judy Warnick (13th District), and John Braun (20th District).

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