In north Whatcom County, Republican candidates for state House made a strong showing in early election returns Tuesday, Nov. 4.
Meanwhile, in the adjacent legislative district that includes south Bellingham and the southwest county, two Democratic incumbents advanced.
The only race without an incumbent was in House Position 1 of the 42nd Legislative District, which includes Whatcom’s small cities and northern farmland. Luanne Van Werven, who resigned from officer positions at the county and state Republican Party to run, led Democrat Satpal Sidhu 57 percent to 43 percent. She would replace Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-Lynden, who announced early this year he would not seek re-election.
“It was a big night for conservatives. I have the honor of being the first female to serve in Position 1 in 18 years,” Van Werven said.
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Sidhu, a political newcomer who exports processed berries and was formerly a dean at Bellingham Technical College, said he believes he carried the right message to voters, but he accepted the result.
“This is our country. The people have spoken, and I respect that and I honor that. We’ll see how the future turns out to be,” Sidhu said.
Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, will win a third term in the other 42nd District House seat. He leads Democrat Joy Monjure, a former Everson City Council member, 59 percent to 41 percent.
“We couldn’t ask for better numbers. I’m very pleased and excited,” Buys said.
Monjure was disappointed in the results but said campaigning inspired her to get more involved in her community.
“I feel bad there’s so many people who feel like the Republican Party has the answers in this community or this country. I think the Democrats are working for the middle class, and I’m sorry the voters didn’t see that,” Monjure said.
In the 40th District, which includes south Bellingham, southwest Whatcom County, San Juan County and part of Skagit County, Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, easily won a third term. She is leading Republican Daniel Miller of Friday Harbor, 69 percent to 31 percent.
Lytton was already looking ahead to the next legislative session. She called for bipartisan cooperation.
“We have a big task ahead of us in January when we get back. We need to work together as Democrats and Republicans for the people in the state,” Lytton said.
Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, did not have a challenger for his 40th District House seat. He will serve his 10th term starting in January.
Ballots will continue to be counted in the coming days, with counties certifying their results later this month.