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Incumbents hold onto their seats in the Legislature

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Veteran state representatives Ed Orcutt, Richard DeBolt and Brian Blake coasted easily to re-election victories Tuesday.

Orcutt (R-Kalama) fended off a challenge from 28-year-old Democrat Brennan Bailey to earn his ninth term as a 20th District representative. The district covers parts of Cowlitz, Lewis, Clark and Thurston counties. Orcutt earned 64.6 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Orcutt, 55, credited his victory to his willingness to listen to voters in the reliably Republican district.

“I work really hard for my constituents and think they’re sending me back to continue that work,” said Orcutt, who was appointed to his seat in 2002.

Bailey, a first grade teacher in Toledo, said the results follow a 20-year pattern, but he doesn’t regret running.

“It’s been great to get out in the community and hear concerns,” he said.

In a landslide victory, fellow 20th District Representative Richard DeBolt defeated Democratic challenger John Thompson, grabbing 63 percent of the vote.

DeBolt, 52, has served in the Legislature for about 21 years.

“I think myself and my seatmate (Orcutt) go out and work for the people in our district and make sure we get the projects we need, support legislation for the community and communicate with them,” said DeBolt, a Chehalis Republican.

Thompson, a 70-year-old retired Silver Lake resident, said the results aren’t surprising, but he didn’t want to give his opponent a “free run.”

19th District Representative Brian Blake, 58, earned his ninth two-year term Tuesday night after defeating Republican challenger Joel McEntire with 54 percent of the vote.

Blake, D-Aberdeen, said he was successful yet again because the hard work of contacting voters paid off.

“I’ve done my best to represent the voters and fight hard for the 19th District, and folks recognize that,” he said.

McEntire, 30, a Marine Corps reservist and Cathlamet science teacher, said Blake had an advantage as a longtime incumbent. Being out of the country until September prevented him from talking to as many people as he wanted to, said McEntire, of Cathlamet.

“I knew it was going to be a tough fight. It was a pleasure to run. I enjoyed doing it and talking to people,” McEntire said.


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