Local Election

Lovelett, Miller seek the 40th District state Senate seat. Here’s what voters should know

State Sen. Liz Lovelett, an Anacortes Democrat, will be defending her 40th Legislative District seat against Daniel Miller in a confirmation vote that’s required because she was appointed to the post in February. She replaced Kevin Ranker who resigned in January amid sexual harassment allegations.

Ranker was elected in 2016, so the 40th District state Senate seat is open again in 2020, and whoever wins will again face election next year.

The 40th District includes San Juan County and parts of Skagit County and south Bellingham.

Lovelett’s remaining challenger is Daniel Miller, a Friday Harbor Republican.

Before the primary, the Republican parties of San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties wrote that they have never endorsed Miller for any public office. In a July 22 press release, they stated “Daniel Miller has been thoroughly vetted; he does not meet the criteria of the Republican Party.”

Lovelett led the Aug. 6 primary with 46% of the vote. Miller had 22%.

The position pays $48,731 annually.

General ballots were mailed Oct. 16. Ballots don’t need a stamp but must be postmarked by Election Day. Ballot drop boxes open Oct. 16 and close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 5.

These are the candidates for the 40th District state Senate seat:

Liz Lovelett

Lovelett, 39, is the 40th District’s state senator. She is running as a Democrat.

Bio: She is a mother of young two children and a fifth-generation resident of the area. She graduated with honors from Anacortes High and Skagit Valley College and is attending Western Washington University.

Before her appointment to the Senate in February, she served five years on the Anacortes City Council. She is a former owner of The Business in Anacortes — a combination record and bookstore, cafe and music and art venue. She has served as a board member of the Anacortes Farmers Market, was on the Skagit Marine Resources Committee, the Population Health Trust of Skagit, and was twice president of the Whitney PTA.

In the state Senate, she serves on the Transportation and Local Government committees.

Neighborhood: Anacortes.

Funds raised: $111,186 by Oct. 22, according to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.

Funds spent: $79,542 by Oct. 22.

Largest contributors: Amazon.com Services, Inc.; Washington Education Association PAC; Puget Sound Pilots PAC; the Kennedy Fund; United For Quality Education and Public Service (Service Employees International Union 925); Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Justice for All each gave $2,000. The Service Employees International Union Care Committee gave $1,000; the state Democratic Party made an in-kind contribution of $1,394.

Why she is qualified: “I think my ability to work across lots of different demographics in the community to work with elected officials...” Lovelett said. “I’m just trying to get out in the community and listen to people and what their needs are.”

An issue of personal interest to her: As a single mother, Lovelett says she has benefited from the “social safety net” and wants to make sure people can use programs, such as Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition, without having to continually prove they are poor enough, which Lovelett said can be demoralizing.

Endorsements: 40th Legislative District Democrats, Washington State Labor Council, Washington Education Association, SEIU Healthcare 1999 and 925, Anacortes Firefighters IAFF Local 1537, National Women’s Political Caucus, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Website: LizLovelett.org, Sen. Liz Lovelett, and Liz Lovelett for Senate on Facebook.

Daniel Miller

Miller formerly owned New England Collectibles in Friday Harbor. He is running as a Republican.

Bio: He was raised in Friday Harbor and has a bachelor’s degree in public policy and environmental studies from Evergreen State College. He ran for the 40th District state Senate seat in 2016, losing to Kevin Ranker by a margin of 74% to 24%. He has participated in Relay for Life, which raises funds to fight cancer.

Neighborhood: Friday Harbor.

Funds raised and spent: No funds raised or spent filed. Miller selected the “mini-reporting option” with the state Public Disclosure Commission, which exempts candidates from filing campaign finance reports if they don’t exceed $5,000 in contributions and take no individual donations greater than $500.

Why he is qualified for the position: “I studied Washington state government, and I have testified on the hill up there in Olympia. I have worked with public policy in Washington and California,” Miller said. He also said his experience as the former owner of New England Collectibles helps him understand how to maintain a business in good times and bad.

An issue of personal interest to him: “I ride the ferry. I’ve had to deal with fair rates going up,” Miller said. “I want to work on transportation issues in the state.” Miller is not in favor of more tolls, and said he wants to keep ferry rates reasonable.

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Warren Sterling in a graduate of Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. He interned at Politifact.com before joining The Bellingham Herald as a summer 2019 intern.