TRAHANT REPORTS— Washington state voters picked candidates in a primary election Tuesday and a number of Native Americans ran for offices ranging from city councils to the Seattle Port Commission.
Bellingham City Councilmember Roxanne Murphy, Nooksack, was easily cruising to a spot in the general election rolling up more than 65 percent of the vote. On Facebook she reported: “Hard work really can pay off. Eternal thanks to every individual and organization that supported me. *Hands Lifted*”
Murphy became the first Native American elected to the Bellingham City Council in 2014.
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Washington has a “top-two” primary where the top two candidates move on to the general election (regardless of party).
However former Washington Sen. Claudia Kauffman, Nez Perce, appeared to be unsuccessful in her bid to win a spot on the fall ballot for the Seattle Port Commission. Kauffman was running against an incumbent, John Creighton, who easily won the top spot.
Matthew Jolibois, Turtle Mountain, will also continue on to the general election for the City of Fircrest Council. He currently serves as the city’s mayor.
Zachary Pullin DeWolf, Chippewa Cree, won 43 percent of the votes reported and will continue on to the general election contest for a seat on the Seattle School Board.
Across the state, Randy Scott, Tsimshian, will face Steve Ensley this fall in a race for the Ocean Shores City Council.
Most Washington voters cast their ballots by mail so the returns could change as more ballots are received and counted. The election will be certified by August 18. The state estimates that nearly 90,000 ballots have yet to be counted (out of 688,824 so far).
Mark Trahant is the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. He is an independent journalist and a member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. On Twitter @TrahantReports.